Posted by Terry Alexander - email
HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - Hanover Animal Control is cracking down on the owners of unlicensed pets. They've begun their special patrols in selected neighborhoods to enforce the law and help protect against rabies.
Animal Control has stepped up those patrols making sure all dogs four months or older have the proper tags and licenses.
Greg Senter is a Richmond resident but has been bringing Abby and Bessy to the county dog park for the last month. He seems to enjoy it just as much as they do and is happy to hear Animal Control is strictly enforcing licensing and tag requirements.
"Its a good idea obviously for safety reasons for dogs, and other animals and people, so I'm for that," said Senter.
"In Hanover and all over the state in Virginia, we have a real problem with wildlife interacting with dogs and other companion animals. We want to make sure they're vaccinated against the virus also that they're properly licensed," said Hanover County Animal Control Chief Kevin Kilgore.
There were 26 rabies cases in Hanover county last year, and eight so far this year.
"If a dog is exposed to a rabid animal and they're not vaccinated, the consequences can be very grave. Best case scenario they'd have to be in complete strict isolation for 180 days," said Kilgore.
Animal Control wants to continue its proactive approach in keeping the community safe by targeting specific neighborhoods and conducting random patrols to make sure everyone is in compliance.
"We try to target areas that have high concentration of dogs and base that on citizens complaints, especially if we have dogs running at large and problems like that," said Kilgore. "The license and rabies vaccination go hand in hand. Once we see a dog tag on a dog, we know they're properly licensed and is a great tool for us if the dog is lost."
A dog license is issued after a pet has been vaccinated and only costs six dollars. They're on sale throughout the year and must be on the dog at all times. The tag and license law goes hand in hand with the leash law which prohibits dogs from running free in the county.
Any dog found without a valid dog tag will be considered "unlicensed" and owners can face a $25 fine.