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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

June is Dog License Month

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During June, Westport dogs—like Lee Savetilli’s Bernese Mountain Dogs—need to be registered with the town. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WN File Photo/Phyllis Groner
By Jennifer Connic

Visitors to Westport Town Hall may hear the sound of barking coming from the basement between now and the end of June.

The Town Clerk’s Office kicked off its dog registration month today, and Town Clerk Patricia Strauss said she expected to register more than 50 dogs in the first day of business.

By state statute, June is dog registration month, and every dog owner must register their dog with the local town clerk and receive a license for the dog.

Strauss said she and her staff sent 2,138 postcards—which represent every registered dog in Westport—to remind owners to register their dogs.

A dog license is $8 for a spayed or neutered dog or $19 for a dog that is not through June 30, and there is a $1 late fee each month after.

If someone has a new dog that needs to be registered, the owner can download a form from the town’s Web site and must send it to the Town Clerk’s Office with a copy of a rabies certificate and documentation about the dog being spayed or neutered.

If someone is caught with an unlicensed dog, the infraction carries a $60 fine.

“You don’t want to get caught, and we have an active animal control division,” Strauss said.

The registration process ensures to town officials that every dog has had a rabies vaccination, she said, and it also allows for a way for lost dogs to be found.

If a registered dog is lost, she said, there is a record of the ownership with the town so the dog can be returned to its owner.

While there are 2,138 dogs registered with the town, Strauss said she thinks there are more.

“You go to the Memorial Day parade and see all those dogs and you wonder,” she said. “I believe there may be more dogs that we don’t know about.”

Owners are welcome to bring their dogs to the Town Clerk’s Office when they go for a registration, Strauss said, and there are treats available for the “four-legged visitors.”

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Posted 05/29/07 at 09:23 PM  Permalink



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