Town officials are urging dog-owners to renew their pets’ licenses as a June 30 deadline approaches.
Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm said she wants people to know “how important [licensing your dog] is.”
“Follow the rules, follow the laws,” she said.
Dogs are property under state law, and licenses must be renewed by July 1. Residents should obtain and renew dog licenses through the Town Clerk’s Office (more information here).
Town Clerk Claudia Weber said many local dog owners currently “are having difficulty licensing their dogs online due to a computer glitch with the software program.”
“We’ve been getting lots of emails and calls about this,” she said. “We are working diligently to correct the problem, and hope to have it resolved in another 24-48 hours. I apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience while we sort this out. Thank you so much.”
Halm said that the rate of licensing declined last year, though there are an increasing number of dogs in the town.
On average, 2,500 New Canaan dogs are licensed each year, but there are currently hundreds of unlicensed dogs, she said.
“New dogs should, at six months old, get their licences,” she said.
Delinquent dog owners face fines and, if dogs remain unlicensed, infraction-level criminal offenses.
Halm said she issued an infraction for failure to license to a New Canaan dog owner last week. In that case, four citations for failure to comply resulted in a total of $300 in fines, she said.
Asked why dog owners should get the paperwork done, Halm told NewCanaanite.com, “It’s really important that people understand that if your dog does wander off and it is wearing its license, I can find them much quicker.”
She added, “I’m happy to give a free ride home for a dog that has a license.”
Another benefit, she noted, was that the licensing will remind people to properly vaccinate their dogs. She said that people often forget to get their dogs a rabies vaccination (every three years), and licensing serves as a good reminder.
“If the dog is lost and did bite someone, not having a vaccinated dog is a much more serious fine and offense,” she said.