Dog Census

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In a county where the men, women, and children number nearly 70,000, man's best friend is well-represented.

"Approximately 10,000," is county treasurer Tina Ward's estimate on the dog population. "We sell quite a few dog licenses, more than you would think!"

The problem, the county's found, is the number of puppies who haven't been paid for. They estimate there are 800 unlicensed dogs this years.

"We've not so concerned about getting the moneyfor the registration as we about dogs that might not have rabies vaccination or other shots they may need," Undersheriff Jack Phillips explains.

Starting Monday, the county's cracking down with the help of two temporary sheriff's deputies--college students on their summer break.

They'll start by making phone calls from the delinquent licensing list and give owners two weeks to get the license updated current. Then, they'll make house calls and possibly cite owners who aren't in compliance.

The money may not be the goal, but it's not chump change either. A license plus a late fee is $45. A citation may be more like a $100.

Regularly, licenses are $10 for neutered or spayed dogs and $15 for others. 3-year licenses are discounted to $25 and $40 dollars, respectively.

Owners must bring proof of a rabies vaccine to be licensed.

The undersheriff says Bath and DeWitt Townships had the most unlicensed dogs. The county has allotted about $10,000 for the census.

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