Dog tags went on sale Saturday. Local dog owners who follow the law and buy one are helping dogs all over the county, but are also protecting their own pets, said Barb Knapp, Erie County’s dog warden.
Tags are required for all dogs at least three months old and cost $18 per tag. Kennel licenses are $90.
After Jan. 31, the price doubles. In addition, dog owners who get caught without a tag on their pet face a $100 fine.
The law requires the tag to be displayed on the dog’s collar.
That’s a good idea anyway, said Knapp, because it helps dogs and owners in three ways.
First, if a law enforcement officer finds a loose dog with a valid tag, he can access a database at the sheriff’s office 24 hours a day to find the owner. In many cases, the dog is returned to the owner without having to go to the dog pound.
Second, if the owner cannot be located right away, a dog with a valid tag must be held at least 14 days before it's put up for adoption. A registered letter is sent to the owner’s last known address, Knapp said. A dog without a tag can be adopted out after three days.
Third, if a dog with a valid tag gets loose and is injured, perhaps after being hit by a car, a veterinarian must be consulted about whether the dog should be put down, Knapp said.
If the dog has no tag, the decision falls upon the dog pound, which seldom has the resources to provide hospital care.
The pound gets virtually all of its funding from tag sales. The rest comes from donations and adoption fees, said county commissioner Tom Ferrell. The county provides the pound with no money from the general fund.
Erie County typically sells about 14,000 tags a year.
In addition to sheltering lost dogs, the pound provides a temporary home for abused and neglected animals. Dogs it helped this year include Star, a German shepherd found with a rope embedded in her neck, and a group of starving puppies rescued in downtown Sandusky.
Need a dog tag?
Or in person at:
Ace Hardware, Huron, 402 Cleveland Rd. E, Huron.
Ace Hardware, Vermilion, 4781 Liberty Ave, Vermilion.
The Chelsea Dog LLC, 4515 Columbus Ave.
Citizen’s Banking Co., 24 E. Main St., Berlin Heights.
Critter Croft Sandusky, 2405 E. Perkins Ave.
Erie County Auditor’s Office, 247 Columbus Ave.
Humane Society of Erie County,1900 Superior St.
M&M Boarding Kennel, 5705 Campbell St., Sandusky.
Firelands Animal Hospital,914 S. Main St., Huron.
Novotny’s Farm Market, 1809 St. Rt. 60, Vermilion.
Pet Supplies Plus, 3820 Milan Rd., Sandusky.
Sandusky Animal Hospital, 3307 Tiffin Ave., Sandusky.
Sandusky License Bureau, 1050 Cleveland Rd., Sandusky
York Animal Hospital, 1184 W. Main, Bellevue.
Kelleys Island Market, 129 Division St., Kelleys Island.
Erie County Dog Pound, 2900 Columbus Ave.
Critter Croft Pet Clinic,2502 St. Rt. 133 E., Milan.
Country Breeze, 4303 St. Rt. 60, Vermilion.
Citizen’s Banking Co.,208 S. Washington St. Castalia.
Bay View Center, 803 E Bayview Dr.