Auglaize County residents have less than two weeks to purchase their dog tags for 2013 without penalty.
Auglaize County Dog Warden Russ Bailey said the tags may be purchased without a late fine through Jan. 31. They may be purchased online, by mail or at a special Saturday sale planned at two locations on Jan. 26.
“We know there are those people who work Monday through Friday,” Bailey said. “We are hoping this helps them get their dog tags purchased before they incur a late fee.”
To purchase a dog tag by the Jan. 31 deadline, the cost is $20 per dog. Beginning Feb. 1 that cost increases to $40, including a late fine. Dog owners need to pay $75 if their dogs are picked up by the dog warden without a current license.
“Starting the second week of February we will have a tag enforcement officer out checking on dog owners who did not renew their licenses,” Bailey advised.
All dogs 3-months and older are required to be tagged in Ohio. If a new dog is acquired, the owner has 30 days to purchase a tag for it.
“This is a state law, not a county or city ordinance,” Bailey said. “Plus, having a dog properly licensed helps us get it back to its owner without a charge.”
He said homes may be needed to be found for dogs right away or they could face euthanization with limited space in county dog kennels. Dog tags ensure they get back to their owner.
To date, 3,500 dog tags have been purchased by Auglaize County dog owners for 2013, but Bailey is expecting that number to double for the year. He also is expecting the next two weeks to be busy as dog owners scramble to beat the deadline. In 2012, 6,700 dog tags were sold in the county.
Again this year, through state grant funding, Bailey is able to provide anyone adopting a dog from him with a free spay or neuter voucher. Low income families also may qualify to receive a voucher.
“This is something we have done the past three years and plan to do again,” Bailey said.
Funding for the vouchers comes from the Ohio Pet Fund, a charitable corporation that supports selected educational programs concerning the proper veterinary care of dogs, as well as selected programs for sterilization of dogs. Money for the program comes from the sales of special pet license plates in the state.