With a new year just around the corner, the local bylaw enforcement department is reminding dog owners to renew licences for their furry friends—or to get them one if they aren’t licensed yet.
“The dog tags will be available shortly if they want to get them for 2010,” said bylaw enforcement officer Arlene Byrnes, adding it’s not unusual for dog owners to get their canines tags and put them under the Christmas tree, along with a bone or toy.
Byrnes explained that in accordance with Bylaw 12-79, annual licences are required for dogs residing in Fort Frances—and there is a $55 fine (plus a court fee) if your pet is picked up by bylaw officers and found not to have a licence.
But just as importantly, the licence is a means of registering your canine’s information with the town, she added.
If your dog becomes lost or is at large, for example, bylaw enforcement officers can use the licence tag to trace the animal back to its owner and contact them.
The licence has to be renewed each year.
Licensing runs on a January-to-December schedule, so everyone renews them when a new year starts, not necessarily 12 months from when they first purchased it.
For instance, if someone buys a licence for 2010 right now, that licence is good until Dec. 31, 2010. But if they wait until the spring or summer, the licence still expires at the end of 2010—not 12 months after they buy it.
Licences are required for dogs over six months of age, which are available at the Civic Centre.
Licences for dogs that have been spayed or neutered cost $22 while ones for those who haven’t been spayed/neutered cost $32 (these amounts will likely change to $22.44 and $32.64 respectively in the near future, however, as the town user fee schedule for 2010 currently is under review.)
Byrnes said the number of people getting licences for their dogs is on the rise, and the bylaw enforcement department appreciates it.
For example, only about two dozen canines had licences in the summer of 2008. By this past summer, that number had quintupled.
People who currently don’t have a licence for their pooches, even if they should have done so long ago, needn’t fear reprisal when they come in to get one for their four-legged companions as they are doing the right thing now.
As well, dog owners should not get confused between their dog’s rabies tag they get from the vet and the licence tag they get from the town.
Having the rabies tag does not mean you’re in compliance with the town bylaw.