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Lucas County dog owners have new options for licensing their pets for 2014 thanks to a state legislative change that took effect Dec. 1.
Owners can now purchase a three-year tag and a permanent tag. The option of purchasing a one-year tag is still available.
“Some people might want to just buy one and get it out of the way and not have to come back every year to renew it,” said Lucas County Auditor Anita Lopez, who handles dog licensing for the county.
The three-year tag is $75 while the permanent tag is $250.
The standard one-year tag remains at $25.
“If you have a puppy, the $250 one is going to be a bargain,” Ms. Lopez said. “It's a lifetime registration.”
She said she doesn't expect to see a large number of three-year and permanent tags purchased this year.
“That number will be small, I anticipate, in the first year,” she said.
So far in 2013, the office has registered 61,786 dog licenses. In 2012, the number tallied 64,807.
Using the 2010 U.S. Census figure of 441,815 residents in Lucas County, a formula from the American Veterinary Medical Association estimates there are 99,238 dogs in the county.
“We have a huge dog population in Lucas County,” Ms. Lopez said. “We love our dogs.”
Not only is the licensing of dogs required by law, it helps protect pets from winding up in a shelter if they would get lost.
Julie Lyle, director of Lucas County Canine Care & Control, which uses the revenue from dog licenses for its operations, said about two-thirds of the dogs brought in to the care center are strays.
While state law dictates that a licensed stray must be held for 14 days to give the owner time to claim it, unlicensed dogs can be held for as little as three days, the minimum time provided by law.
“It's vitally important to not only buy the license, but to make sure the license is on the dog,” Ms. Lyle said. “If you buy the tag and stick it in a drawer, it’s not going to do any good.”
With the purchase of a tag, owners receive a Lucas County Loves Dogs discount card that can be used at a number of area retailers.
The list can be found at lucascountylovesdogs.com.
Though the new longer-term tags are convenient, Ms. Lyle cautioned dog owners that not having to renew a license every year means owners must remember to update their contact information with the auditor’s office should it change.
Old information may hinder or prevent the department from being able to reunite a lost dog with its owner.
The three-year and permanent licenses must be purchased at the auditor’s office at One Government Center, Suite 600, in Toledo, or at Lucas County Canine Care & Control at 410 S. Erie Street near downtown Toledo.
The annual license can be bought at the auditor’s office, at Lucas County Canine Care & Control, and at a number of vendors around the county. The list of vendors can be viewed at co.lucas.oh.us/auditor.
Contact Alexandra Mester at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6066.