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Published: Wednesday, 8/11/2004

Rossford: Stray dogs to get royal treatment when seized

BY ERIKA RAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

ROSSFORD - Until their owners are found, dogs who wander away from home may find themselves living like royalty.

Lost or stray dogs seized by police that are not immediately matched with their owners will be taken to stay at The Canine Castle and Dogs' Deli, 1137 Dixie Hwy., for up to three days to give owners a chance to claim their lost pets.

"We'd just house, feed, water them and just care for them until their owners came," said Larry Weaver, co-owner of the business.

To pay for the costs the dogs will accrue, Rossford City Council unanimously approved an emergency ordinance Monday to increase the fees associated with the impounding, storage, and redemption of seized lost or stray dogs from $2.50 to no more than $20 each day a dog is boarded.

Councilman James Richards said the increased fees will allow for the proper care of the estimated two or three dogs that are found galavanting about the city each month.

Mr. Weaver said he and co-owner Monica Wittenmyer installed 15 kennels at their store last year and volunteered to house the dogs because they believe they have a good chance of finding the dogs' owners.

Prior to the ordinance, police have kept the dogs in the police garage for the maximum of three days, which Mr. Richards said was not in the best interest of either the officers or the dogs.

"We certainly have better things for our officers to be doing," he said.

Mr. Richards said if the dogs are claimed within three days, the owners will be responsible for all the boarding costs, which Mr. Weaver said was $13 a day for a small dog and $16 for a large dog each day the pooches are boarded.

If the dogs are not claimed within three days, they will be turned over to the County Dog Warden, and Mr. Weaver and Ms. Wittenmyer have volunteered to absorb the costs."If we do lose a little [money], it's a small cost to try to find the owners," Mr. Weaver said. "It just seemed like the right thing to do because they are family dogs."

Rossford Mayor Bill Verbosky said an ordinance solely directed at caring for man's best friend is a good start, although it may have to be amended if other pets - turtles or bobcats, for example - are found wandering around the city.

Contact Erika Ray at:

eray@theblade.com

or 419-724-6050.



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