Pet owners buying licenses for their dogs have more options this year.
As part of the state’s biennial budget, House Bill 59 added two more categories to the license procedure which take affect Jan. 1, 2014. Instead of buying a single year’s license, the owners can choose between buying a three-year license or a permanent license, which lasts 10 years, Ottawa County Dog Warden JoLynn Hetrick said.
A single license costs $20 annually, a three-year is $60 and a permanent one runs $200.
Hetrick said she is unsure why the state changed the purchase policy but noted it is mandated. Counties cannot opt out.
“I guess it’s going to be a little extra legwork for us but we will work it out,” she said.
Computer software has already been changed to comply with the new license applications.
It’s up to owners to decide which dog tag is best for them, the dog warden said.
But remember, Hetrick cautioned: “There are no refunds.”
If someone should buy a permanent tag and something happens to the animal, the license fee will not be returned, she explained.
Dec. 1 marked the first day for dog tag sales in Ottawa County. The application period runs until Jan. 31, after which a penalty fee is added. Licenses are available at the dog warden office on State Route 163 in Salem Township, the county auditor’s office in Port Clinton, the Oak Harbor Police Department and Owen’s Ark in Genoa.
This policy is one of several notable changes for the warden’s office in the last year. For one, the office no longer accepts “surrender” dogs.
In the past, the shelter had taken in the animals when owners could no longer care for them or they were in failing health.
“You have to take your dog to the vet now,” Hetrick said.
How animals are euthanized by the county is also done differently. The facility no longer uses a gas chamber for the procedure.
“We contract with a veterinarian for that,” the dog warden said.
At present, there are no animals being housed at the dog warden shelter.
It’s a far cry from the mass overflow underway now at the Humane Society of Ottawa County on Sand Road near Port Clinton.
Shelter officials have temporarily banned admission of any more dogs or cats. The facility is stretched to its limits now, housing about 140 cats and nearly 20 dogs.
As a “no-kill” shelter, the humane society only euthanizes animals in dire situations. The non-profit receives no government funding and relies heavily on donations and fundraisers.