Counting canines to keep communities safe

wwny Counting canines to keep communities safe

JEFFERSON COUNTY, N.Y. (WWNY) - Over the last few months, wedged in peoples’ doors, some Jefferson County residents are being reminded by the county dog shelter to make sure their pups are vaccinated.

"What we do is we're counting dogs to ask people if their dog is licensed or unlicensed," said Todd Cummings, interim Jefferson County Dog Shelter director:

County Dog Control Officer Rhonda Frezzo says that's important for public health because, "You can't get a license without a rabies shot."

This program used to cover the entire county. But starting in 2016, seven towns decided to do dog control on their own.

"They hire private individuals to do dog control service now so Jefferson County has no affiliation with those towns' programs," said Cummings.

That's where some dogs could fall through the cracks. Of the 7 towns, 2 say they don't do a dog census - The towns of Wilna and Philadelphia.

Officials say it's because of the cost. That leaves it up to residents in those towns to do the right thing.

"You would hope that a responsible pet owner would go in and license their dog with their town clerk but that's not always the case," said Scott Gray, County Board of Legislators chairman.

So whether you live in a town covered by the county's dog control officers or your town operates independently, Frezzo says, "Just be responsible if you do own a dog and do the right thing and get them a license."

To register your dog, simply go to your town or city clerk with proof of an up-to-date rabies shot and pay a small fee. It can help you, your pet, and your community stay safe from disease.

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