Animal Advocate Worries About New Dog Tags

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If you lose your dog, it might be more difficult for you to find your pet.

That's because the state Department of Agriculture and Markets changed dog licensing regulations three years ago.

It stopped collecting useful information stored in a database that could help reunite a lost dog with its owner.

Local municipalities are now responsible for licenses.
 
St. Lawrence Valley SPCA President Karen Cunningham is concerned that some municipalities are giving dog owners stickers rather than new embossed ID tags when they renew the pet's original Ag & Markets license.

She says she received a sticker earlier this month from the city of Ogdensburg.

That, she says, could hamper the ability to locate owners of lost dogs because information on the stickers wear off.

"If you own a dog, go to your dog right now. Look at that tag that is on that dog's collar. It should have the town of residence. It should have a 10 digit number including the area code, of course, for your town clerk or city clerk and it should say 'New York State,'" said Cunningham.

The town of Canton created its own database three years ago and uses the metal ID license tags with an up to date phone number rather than stickers.

Town Clerk Lisa Hammond says the system is like a Social Security number for dogs.

"It really works well. We get calls from people that will say, 'I have a dog in my yard and the tag number is this.' We'll go to the system, look it up and we can usually get ahold of the owner and return the dog," said Hammond.

Another problem is dog owners don't put the licenses on the animal's collar.      

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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