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Tonawanda Prepares for Dog Census; Other Towns Could Follow Suit | News

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Tonawanda Prepares for Dog Census; Other Towns Could Follow Suit

TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y.- On Thursday another census begins.

But this one's for the dogs.

If you live in the Ken-Ton area, expect a visit from uniformed teenage volunteers with the Explorers program this month.

They're working for the police department, and they'll be knocking on doors making sure dogs are licensed.

"Those people that aren't home, they'll use basic methods, listen to how many dogs are barking to try and determine how many animals are there," said Lt. Nick Bado, with the Town of Tonawanda Police Department.

In the Town, residents are allowed two dogs per household.

Each pup over four months old must have a license that is renewed each year

Those who don't comply face tickets, fines and court.

In order to get a license, your dog must be up to date on its Rabies shots.

"It's important for us if there's an incident with a dog biting a human, we want to know who's got what dog, what their shot records look like." said Bado. "It's going to help us out tremendously."

In June, the state transferred all licensing responsibility to officials at the local level.  The law takes effect in January.

Dawn Izydorczak, President of the Erie County Town Clerk's Association says that could mean soon, we'll see more towns counting canines.

"There's probably a lot of towns out there that have not done censuses in the past number of years," said Izydorczak, "and as a result of this will probably be looking at doing that so they really do get a better handle on the number of dogs that they have in their municipalities."

Local jurisdictions will get to keep 100-percent of the revenue, but it also means more costs, and for some, more work.

"Where you're probably going to see where it's going to be a lot more work is in the larger towns, your Cheektowagas, your Amhersts," said Izydorczak.

Towns legally aren't allowed to make money on the licensing fees, so some could be readjusting the cost to license your dog once they determine their new budget for the process.

In Tonawanda, police say this is just a warning-- you'll have five days after you receive a notice to license your dog.

It costs $12.50 a year to register a spayed or neutered dog, and $20.50 to register one that is not spayed or neutered.

The volunteers will be members of Police Explorer Post 1835 and will be dressed in uniform.

They'll be visiting houses from noon to 7 p.m. each day.

















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