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Dog Tags

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To The Editor:

It has come to my attention that when NYS Agriculture & Markets changed the regulations (NYS Agriculture & Markets Article 7 Parts 109-111) related to the licensing of dogs as well as requiring local municipalities to establish their own databases, that many dog owners did not receive new license ID tags for their dogs when they renewed their licenses.

There is no database that contains the previous NYS Agriculture and Markets tags as each municipality has been required to establish and maintain their own database, so if your dog is picked up by a Dog Control Officer or private citizen with a NYS Agriculture and Markets tag, the tag will not provide the information required to reunite the dog with its owner. This also would prevent any animal shelter from assisting with identification of the dog.

Under the new regulations, the license tag is to have the city/town of residence, the state (NYS), the phone number of the city/town clerk, and the individual tag identification number; some towns have also included the numeric code for St. Lawrence County(40)/and the numeric code for the individual town/city—(40??).

Most towns/cities have had this information permanently embossed on tags as was previously done with the NYS Agriculture and Markets tags. However, some town/city clerks have “cut some corners” and provided this information on a sticker affixed to the tag. This system is not working and the stickers are not lasting more than a few days and dog owners are not aware of how important the information on the sticker is to identifying their dog.

Also it is required that the license ID tag be affixed to your dog’s collar whenever it leaves your property. Dog owners should also consider purchasing ID tags for each dog’s collar that contains up-to-date telephone contacts. Owners should also consider microchipping their dogs (and cats, too) in case they should become separated from their collar (cats should have breakaway collars).

A dog is required to be licensed in the city/town in which it resides once it has reached four months of age. A rabies vaccination is required for licensing.

If you should move out of the city/town where the dog is licensed the dog must be relicensed in its new residence. The tag on the dog is the only way to make the necessary contacts to “bring the dog home.”

Please note: if you move within the licensed city/town please contact your city/town clerk and update your address and any changes in telephone numbers should also be reported.

Dog owners—please go to your dog’s collar right now and check the license tag—be sure it has the information required and if it does not, as soon as possible take the tag and your current dog license document to your city/town clerk and request a properly embossed tag with the required information. If you do not have the license ID tag on your dog’s collar take care of this immediately.

If your city/town clerk is using some other method to provide this information such as the stickers mentioned previously, request that your community provide the embossed tags. What I have been told is that they’ll just assign another number and give you another tag with a sticker.

By the way, I relicensed one of my dogs on Aug. 7, and the sticker on his tag was unreadable and almost worn off by Aug. 12. His previous tag (issued when I adopted him in August 2012 had a sticker and it was also gone shortly after it was issued).

For more information to assist with lost/found pets go to our website at www.stlawrencevalleyspca.org.

Karen Cunningham, President

Board of Directors

St. Lawrence Valley SPCA

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