If Fido gets out of your backyard but is wearing a tag, the chances of getting him back are good.
All police departments and deputies have access to the county’s database of dog owners, so in many cases the dog is simply returned to the owner. If the owner can’t be reached, the dog is taken to the pound.
The pound must keep a properly tagged dog for at least 14 days, and efforts are made to reach the owner, Knapp said.
In contrast, a stray without a tag is held for three days and then put up for adoption, Knapp said.
But there’s another good reason to get a tag: It’s the law.
Tags for 2014 must be purchased by Jan. 31. After that, the $18 price doubles and owners without a tag for their pets also face fines.
Dog licenses pay the bulk of the bills at the county dog pound. Most of the office’s budget comes from dog license sales, about 14,300 a year.
“We’re a self-supporting operation. That dog tag takes care of everything we do here” Knapp said.
Erie County’s Humane Society sells dog tags and makes sure that any dog the society adopts out has a dog tag, said Barbara Hargreaves, executive director of the group.
“That is an addition to the adoption fee” she said.
Dog tags may be purchased at the following locations for $18 a tag, $90 for a kennel license:
• Ace Hardware, Huron
• Bay View Center, Bay View
• Citizens Banking Co., Berlin Heights
• Citizens Banking Co., Castalia
• Country Breeze, Vermilion
• Dairy Stop, Vermilion
• Denney’s Lock Stock Barrel, Wakeman
• Erie County Auditor’s Office, Sandusky
• Erie County Dog Warden, Sandusky
• Firelands Animal Hospital, Huron
• Humane Society of Erie County, Sandusky
• Kelley’s Island Market, Kelleys Island
• M&M Boarding Kennel, Sandusky
• Northern Ohio Animal Hospital, Milan
• Northern Ohio Animal Hospital, Sandusky
• Pet Supplies Plus, Sandusky
• Sandusky Animal Hospital, Sandusky
• Sandusky License Bureau, Sandusky
• Vermilion Deli and Grocery, Vermilion
• York Animal Hospital, Bellevue
• Tags also may be purchased online at eriecounty.oh.gov/dogwarden