The city of Schenectady is trying to get a handle on how many unlicensed dogs live there, and it’s calling on school crossing guards to help with the counting.
Crossing guards and code enforcement officers, who’ll be sweeping through neighborhoods this summer, anyway, looking for housing code violations, will be conducting Schenectady’s doggy census — aimed at getting a count of how many dogs are in the city.
The next step is making sure their owners have licensed them.
The city, in which only 1,400 dogs are licensed, suspects there could be ten times more that are unlicensed — as many as 15,000. With licenses costing up to $20, the sweep will easily pay for itself down the road.
The problem was getting the city council’s approval for spending $22,000 to hire people to go door to door, inquiring if homeowners have dogs, according to the Albany Times Union.
A surplus in the overtime budget for code enforcement officers and school crossing guards provided a way around that, allowing the city — without the council having to approve new spending — to turn interested crossing guards and code enforcement officers into temporary canine census takers.
City Clerk Chuck Thorne said the census, to be spread out over several summers, could easily lead to a doubling of dog licenses, which would bring in $36,000 to $40,000 in revenue, and that’s not even counting fines.
Licenses are $13.50 for a neutered or spayed dog and $20.50 for an unfixed dog. For seniors, rates are $3.50 for neutered dogs and $10.50 for unneutered. A valid rabies vaccination certificate is needed for a license.
The census takers will determine through interviews if a homeowner has dogs, how many, and whether they are licensed. If a person is not home and there are indications a dog is in the house — such as barking, or a yard strewn with rawhide chews — the census taker will leave a letter stating the person has 21 days to get a license or face a possible ticket.
(Photo: Mayor Gary McCarthy announcing plans to reduce crime, get homes up to code and crack down on unlicensed dogs in Schenectady; by Skip Dickstein / Times Union)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 16th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, canine, census, city, counting, crossing guards, dog, dogs, licenses, licensing, mayor, pets, registration, schenectady, school crossing guards
Almost 100 pets have been seized since the sweep began a few days ago, Examiner.com reports. Impounded dogs that go unclaimed after three days can be euthanized under Ohio law.
The dog warden’s office let pet owners know about the impending action last Thursday — or at least those that are Facebook friends.
“Hi all of our Facebook friends. Just wanted to let you all know why we haven’t posted adoptable dogs….. we don’t have any right now! Rescue groups have been able to take our adoptable dogs and we are very grateful they have the room because we have started our tag compliance check,” the office posted.
The post continues: “Every year we print a list of people that haven’t renewed their dog license, then we try to call as many as we can to see if they still have their dog. If they do we encourage them to get it within a given time. If they choose not to, then they can receive a citation or have their dog impounded or both. While out doing our compliance checks we are checking surrounding houses as well…”
In answer to a question on its Facebook page, the office said, “…so far most have claimed their dogs the same or next day, which is great. If unlicensed dogs are not claimed after the legal holding time of 3 days the healthy, friendly adoptable dogs are offered to rescues … Yes, we do euthanize.”
Under Ohio law, dog owners must buy a license annually.
Owners of unlicensed dogs are subject to fines, in addition to having to pay double the price for a new license. They are also held responsible, if their pet is picked up, for covering the cost of boarding it at the pound. Law requires unlicensed dogs to be held for 3 days, and licensed dogs for 14 days, before they are turned over to a rescue or euthanized.
According to the Examiner article, pit bulls seized during the sweep might never make it back home.
Even though Ohio legislators removed pit bulls from the vicious dog list last year, cities may still enforce breed specific restrictions. The city of Lima, which is the Allen County seat, is one of those that still has a pit bull restriction in place.
“Allen County dog owners be warned,” the Examiner article says. “If your dog happens to be a pit bull, or one of the other dogs that Lima ordinance lists as vicious, your dog will not make it out of the Allen County Dog Pound alive.”
(Photo: One of the dogs seized in Allen County, Ohio / Examiner.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 8th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: allen county, animals, dog, dog licensing, dog warden, dogs, enforcement, euthanasia, fees, impounded, licenses, licensing, lima, ohio, penalties, pets, pit bulls, pitbulls, pound, registration, seized, sweep, unlicensed, warden
Two practitioners of one of this country’s most despicable occupations — even though it’s legal — entered guilty pleas yesterday and admitted they had been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by research facilities for fraudulently obtained dogs.
Floyd and Susan Martin of Shippensburg, Pa., were what’s known as Class B, or “random source,” dog dealers, and between 2005 and 2010 they sold hundreds of dogs to some of the nation’s leading medical institutions, including Johns Hopkins and Columbia Universities.
There’s nothing wrong — at least in the legal view — with that, assuming one has a license, which the Martins did.
What the Martins got in trouble for was buying too many dogs from individual sources, and lying about it to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Class B dealers may purchase dogs from unlicensed individuals — often called “bunchers” – who collect dogs from various sources. But, under the law, Class B dealers are not allowed to buy more than 24 dogs a year from any single individual.
According to the indictment, the Martins purchased hundreds of dogs from just two individuals while falsely certifying to the U.S. Department of Agriculture that they had purchased no more than 24 dogs from any single source.
Two co-conspirators mentioned in the indictment — those who supplied the dogs to the Martins – have not been charged.
Class B dealers have traditionally purchased dogs from “bunchers,” who often collect dogs from auctions, shelters, the street, and through responding to “free to good home” pet ads.
According to prosecutors, the bunchers working with the Martins procured dogs from sources in 10 states and sold them to the Martins for $50 to $75 each. The Martins then sold the dogs to hospitals and other research labs for hundreds of dollars in profit per dog, the indictment said.
In federal court in Harrisburg yesterday, the Martins, who operated Chestnut Grove Kennel, entered guilty pleas to reduced charges
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that, under a deal with prosecutors, Floyd Martin pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud, for which he will serve a year in prison, while Susan Martin pleaded guilty to a count of conspiracy, for which she will be placed on probation.
The sentence, which also requires the Martins to to pay $300,000 in restitution, will not be official until U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III reviews a presentence report before their June 26 sentencing hearing in Harrisburg.
The case provides a glimpse into the shady world of dog-dealing, which first came to light in Pennsylvania in the 1960s after a stolen pet ended up in a research hospital in New York. Pepper, a dalmatian, was taken from her yard in 1965 and ended up being used in a cardiac pacemaker experiment, which killed her.
Her story helped lead to the passage of the federal Animal Welfare Act in 1966, establishing humane standards for animals in laboratory settings and regulating dealers that sold to them.
Despite those regulations, there was still plenty of room for sleazy behavior.
“We’re talking about an abuse-ridden system of acquiring animals for research,” said Nancy Blaney, senior federal policy adviser for the Animal Welfare Institute, a national advocacy group. ” ‘Random source’ is what it sounds like it is. They can get animals from individuals who respond to ‘free to good home’ ads or animals being stolen. We know because they have been traced through micro-chipping.”
Only six licensed random source dealers remain in operation in the country, and half of them are under federal investigation, the Inquirer reported. The National Institutes of Health said in 2011 that it would phase out use of dogs from Class B dealers by 2015.
In the 1990s, tens of thousands of dogs were being supplied to universities and other medical research institutes. By 2010, the number had dipped to 3,100.
About 3 percent of dogs used in biomedical research in the United States come from random-source dealers, with the rest being supplied by breeders who raise dogs for that specific purpose.
(Photos: Top, Chestnut Grove Kennel, by Dan Gleiter / The Patriot-News; bottom, Pepper and the Lakavage family)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 1st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, chestnut grove kennel, class b, dalmatian, dealers, dealing, department of agriculture, dog, dogs, experiments, floyd martin, free to good home, laboratory, labs, licensing, medical, pennsylvania, pepper, pets, random source, research, supply, susan martin, universities
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has failed to enforce parts of the state’s four-year-old dog law, according to a report by the Dog Law Advisory Board.
In a nearly 100-page report, a subcommittee of the board that was created to advise the governor on dog issues concludes the Dog Law Enforcement office has failed to enforce critical components of the law, leaving close to 500,000 dogs in 2,000 kennels at risk.
“The data show that, by design, everything was done to ignore enforcing the law,” said Thomas Hickey, of West Chester, a board member and one of the report’s authors.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the report says commercial kennels have gotten away with failing to vaccinate dogs for rabies, avoided health and safety regulations and have been allowed to renew their licenses despite convictions for cruelty. Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek October 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advisory board, commercial, department of agriculture, dog, dog law, enforce, enforcement, kennels, law, licensing, pennsylvania, puppy mills, regulations
Effective Sunday, in the city that recently sent hired hands to round up strays, dead or alive, homeowners in single family residences are allowed to legally keep three dogs; while apartment renters are limited to two.
And in an effort to crack down on the thousands of local residents who don’t register their dogs, the city has also worked out an arrangement with veterinarians, authorizing them to issue city licenses when pet owners bring their dogs in for vaccinations. That takes effect Jan. 1.
The measures are designed to make the rules in Fayetteville the same as they are in surrounding Cumberland County, the Fayetteville Observer reports.
Dr. John Lauby, director of Cumberland County Animal Control, which also handles animal control for the city, said his department doesn’t plan to go door to door counting dogs, but it will respond to complaints from citizens about residents harboring too many dogs.
There are no cats limits in Fayetteville, or Cumberland County.
Officials hope the more stringent rules will cut down on complaints involving barking and loose dogs, as well as unsanitary yards where dogs are kept.
Fayetteville residents who previously had more than three dogs can keep them, assuming they are up to date on on the pet fees they pay on their property tax bills.
The county has about 39,000 licensed dogs and cats and, it estimates, about 30,000 non-registered ones.
The county is sending letters to those scofflaws, he said.
“We want to be proactive in preventing the spread of rabies from the wild animal population to humans,” he said.
The license fee is $7 per dog or cat if it has been spayed or neutered; $25 if not.
Those discovered illegally harboring more than the allowable number of pets will be fined $100 for a first offense and given a “reasonable amount of time” to find new homes for the excess dogs.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 3rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, apartments, complaints, cumberland county, dog, dog limit, dog limits, dogs, enforcement, fayetteville, fines, household, john lauby, licenses, licensing, limit, limits, north carolina, number, pets, registered, registration, roundup, strays, three dogs, two dogs
Stray dogs. Stray humans. Lori Weise encountered them both when she started work 16 years ago at a furniture factory on the edge of L.A.’s Skid Row, where homeless dogs and humans were both often treated with something less than respect.
So she created Downtown Dog Rescue — right there in the back of the factory — in the hopes that, through trapping strays, and persuading the homeless to get their dogs spay or neutered, she and her co-workers could make a dent in the homeless dog problem, if not the homeless human one.
She posted fliers promising free pizza for those who brought their dogs in. In addition to paying for thousands of surgeries, the rescue organization has placed or fostered thousands of dogs. And because homeless people can’t a dog license without an address, Weise used the factory’s address to get those dog’s registered. The address of the company, Modernica, was used to license 300 dogs.
The Associated Press, in a story by reporter Sue Manning, took a look this week at Downtown Dog Rescue — both where it has been and where it is going.
The shelter is still located in the back of Modernica, but with homeless people having left downtown Weise now brings shelter services to Compton, where for the last two years it has helped fund a monthly spay and neuter clinic, run by the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care & Control.
In 2011, the clinic sterilized close to 800 dogs, according to Weise, and the euthanasia rate for pit bulls at the county shelter dropped 30 percent.
DDR also holds weekly obedience classes at the Los Angeles Coliseum, teaching owners basic commands, agility, and other urban survival skills. The class draws between 30 and 50 dogs a week.
Downtown Dog Rescue has grown from a couple of kennels to 22. The furniture company has grown, too. Owners and brothers Frank and Jay Novak don’t consider themselves activists for either dogs or the homeless, but they say the work Weise has done helps define the company.
“She never talks down to people,” Novak said. “She is so genuine. I think people are impressed by her sincerity and people know none of the money (close to $200,000 in donations a year) goes to administrative costs.”
Eight months ago, Modernica began moving its production plant to Vernon, and they’ve promised Weise a half-acre where she can build a new shelter there. For now, the dogs remain in the downtown factory, where the company’s prop department will stay.
“She is fearless. She will go into neighborhoods nobody in their right mind would go into. She just goes with her conviction and knowledge she is going to help somebody,” said Carole Pearson, founder and president of Los Angeles-based Dawg Squad.
Most of the men Weise befriended 15 years ago are in prisons or hospitals or have died, the Associated Press story notes. But many of them left the streets — voluntarily or not — with the knowledge their dogs would be taken care of.
“I promised a lot of the men as long as their dogs are alive, they will have a good place to live and I’ll love them,” Weise said.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, dog licenses, dogs, downtown, downtown dog rescue, factory, furniture, homeless, humans, licenses, licensing, lori weise, los angeles, modernica, neuter, pets, rescue, shelter, skid row, spay, strays, streets
As part of the city’s newly amended animal code, veterinarians, groomers, pet shops and dog walkers are all designated as agents of the city, authorized to sell dog licenses and – here’s the scary part — expected to turn in customers who fail to get one.
Those operations “must report people who decline to license their dog,” according to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Under the changes in the law, which went into effect in mid-February, the newly increased minimum fine for having an unlicensed dog is $500.
Brian Abernathy, chief of staff to the city managing director, said the idea for a stricter law came about two years ago, when it was reported that only 5 percent of dogs in the city — about 25,000 of an estimated 400,000 — were licensed.
Other revisions in the law require that all shops that sell dogs must have them spayed or neutered, unless an exception is made and an owner has a license for breeding. Owners of dogs that are not spayed or neutered must pay an annual licensing fee of $40 instead of $16 for sterilized dogs.
The revised law contains some progressive measures, but requiring all those whose jobs involve dogs to become licensing clerks — and snitches — seems bone-headed, and a shirking of responsibility.
“They are dumping it on everybody else because they weren’t able to do it,” veterinarian Howard Wellens said of the city. “I am not happy with being the policeman for someone without dog tags.”
Wellens, a vet at Queen Village Animal Hospital, said the law could put veterinarians in a position of declining treatment to dogs who aren’t registered — or withholding treatment until licensing takes place.
Abernathy said he doubts that would happen: “Under no circumstances do we expect a vet to turn away a sick animal,” he said. “That is not the expectation of the law and not the intent.”
Abernathy said that stores, shelters, and hospitals could collect a $2 fee for each dog license sold.
That seems a pretty small price to reap in exchange for losing a customer’s trust, if not a customer.
Requiring stores that sell dogs – and unlike some cities, Philadelphia hasn’t banned that — to issue licenses makes some sense.
But expecting groomers, veterinarians and dog walkers to become doggie deputies is asking — or is it ordering? — too much.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 9th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agents, animal control, animals, businesses, dog, dog walkers, dogs, groomers, licenses, licensing, pet shops, pets, philadelphia, registering, registration, report, selling, snitch, snitches, unlicensed, veterinarians
The city of Chicago, which has long let dog owners slide when it comes to licensing their pets, plans to put the “man” back in mandatory.
After a 90-day public education period, the city will begin enforcing its mandatory dog license policy and start ticketing dog owners who haven’t registered their pets.
According to the Sun-Times, the city sold 27,918 licenses last year, less than 5 percent of its estimated dog population of 560,000.
That’s more than $2 million, at the very least, being missed out on.
“We can ticket people . . . that is part of the plan. At the end of the period of time we give people to get the dog license, if they didn’t obtain it, it’s a ticket that ranges between $50 and $200 for not having a dog license,” said Cherie Travis, executive director of the Commission on Animal Care and Control.
The crackdown will follow a 90-day education campaign that will also feature low-cost rabies vaccines at events across the city and an online dog registration contest with prizes donated by local businesses.
To purchase a dog license, owners must show proof that their dogs have been vaccinated for rabies. The dog license is a sticker that affixes to the metal rabies tag.
The dog license fee for neutered dogs is $5, compared to a fee of $50 for non-neutered dogs. For senior citizens, the rates are $2.50 and $5 respectively.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 27th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, chicago, crackdown, dog, dogs, education, enforcement, fees, fines, license, licensing, pets, rabies, register, registration, tickets, vaccinations
The woman who oversaw the revamping of dog law in Pennsylvania — helping the state shed its image as the puppy mill capital of the East – has been replaced as the state’s top dog law enforcement officer.
With a banker.
Jessie Smith, who was appointed by former Gov. Ed Rendell in 2006 to rewrite regulations for commercial breeding operations, is out.
Lynn Diehl, a former banker, is in. She’ll serve as director of the newly created Dog Law Enforcement Office.
Smith, a 20-year veteran of the state attorney general’s office when she was named special deputy secretary for dog law enforcement, oversaw dramatic changes in the way commercial breeding kennels are regulated in Pennsylvania, and helped put scores of substandard operations out of business.
The appointment of Diehl, with a relative lack of dog credentials, alarmed some, who fear the progressive steps underway in Pennsylvania could take a back seat to collecting revenue.
A spokesman for Gov. Tom Corbett, who is awaiting the delivery of two Airedale terriers as family pets, said the state remains commited to dogs. (New appointee Diehl has a dachshund.)
Smith was reassigned to the governor’s office of general counsel, where she will work with the Agriculture Department.
“Obviously, getting the kennels in compliance is a top priority, but there are a lot of other areas in dog law and in general with dogs in Pennsylvania that may have been put on a side burner and really need some attention too,” Mike Pechart, executive deputy secretary of the Department of Agriculture, is quoted as saying in an Associated Press article.
One of the areas needing attention, he pointed out, is the state’s Dog Law Restricted Account, which is funded mainly by dog license fees and pays for enforcement. The account is running out of money because too few dog owners comply with state licensing requirement.
Pechart said Diehl’s financial background “will be critical for the bureau.” Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek June 16th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, breeders, breeding, breeding operations, commercial, compliance, conditions, dog, dog law, dogs, ed rendell, enforcement, fees, jessie smith, kennels, licensing, lynn diehl, officer, pennsylvania, pets, puppy mills, regulations, replaced, revenue, top
Registering one’s dog can now be done in a New York minute, at least in New York.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says replacing the old paper system with online licensing — accessed through www.nyc.gov — will cut the waiting period for new licenses and renewals in half, to about 10 days.
”I’ve always believed in the power of technology to make government more open and accessible to the people it is supposed to serve,” said Bloomberg, who owns two Chocolate Labs named Bonnie and Clyde. City officials also expect that, with only about 20 percent of the city’s estimated half million dogs licensed, the registration numbers will rise. Bloomberg and the city’s health commissioner, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, traveled to Hillside Dog Park in Brooklyn Heights on Monday to announce the news, according to the New York Times. One of the goals of the new system, he explained, is to encourage more people to license their dogs.
The new system is not 100 percent electronic — those applying for licenses print out a pdf from the website, fill it out and mail it in with their check. In New York, the fee for first-time dog licenses is $11.50. Renewals cost $8.50 if the dog has been spayed or neutered, $11.50 if it has not.