Henrietta plans canine count: Reminding residents to get dogs licensed

- HENRIETTA, N.Y. (WROC)- Dog owners living in the town of Henrietta may soon have someone knocking on their doors and checking for their dog's license; the town is issuing a dog census starting in September and ending in November.

The census is to make sure every dog is licensed. Henrietta Town Clerk, Becky Wiesner said this is a state law that all residents must comply with.

"It's about getting all the dogs in Henrietta vaccinated against rabies," Wiesner said.

In order for a dog to get licensed the pooch must be vaccinated first, so by purchasing a dog license it shows the dog is up to date with his/her shots and healthy.

The town began sending postcards and alerting residents of the upcoming census in early July. Since they started advertising, 700 new dogs have been licensed compared to only 105 during the same time in 2013.

Wiesner believes many residents don't know that it's a state law, "There are a lot of people I've spoken with at the counter who just didn't know that a license is required," Wiesner said. "The census is also good for public awareness."

The town is accepting applications for dog-census takers through Friday, September 5th. In order to apply, a resume and letter of interest must be sent to the Town Clerk's office by mail or hand delivered. The town plans to choose 10 dog-census workers all of who will make $10 an hour. Those individuals will begin going door-to-door on September, 22 to everyone in town who does not have a registered dog.

Wiesner said the census workers will not visit homes with licensed dogs.

If a census worker find a person is not compliant with the law, they will issue a 10-day grace period to register. If the person doesn't register their dog within that time, they will be issued a $5 fine on top of having to register their dogs.

Licensing a dog in Henrietta costs $9 a year if the dog is spayed or neutered or $18 for dogs that are not fixed.

Karl Lindemuth, a dog owner, said he believes dog licenses are a way for a town to increase its revenue but he also thinks it's good for the dogs.

"If you bring your dog some place like this (Look Up Dog Park, Henrietta,)" Lindemuth said. "And it's not vaccinated and has behavioral issues and it gets into an altercation with another dog, everyone suffers."

If a dog is not licensed, they aren't allowed inside Look Up Dog Park, the new park in Henrietta.

Henrietta residents who own a puppy don't have to worry, just yet. The state requires dogs to be four-months before receiving vaccinations. Once the dog receives its shots after four-months of age, the owner will be required to license the dog.

The town is hosting a free rabies clinic on September 10th for anyone interested in vaccinating and licensing their dogs. It will be held at the Department of Public Works from 4p.m. to 6p.m. They will license dogs on the spot.

The Town of Henrietta currently has over 4,000 licensed dogs.

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