Dog owners urged to license pets, avoid a court date
Lincolnville — Summonses will be delivered before April 1 to 19 residents who have yet to license their dogs unless they go to the Town Office and license the animals in the next week.
Animal Control Officer Heidi Blood said she will begin delivering the summonses a few days before the end of the month. She tries three times to deliver a summons before turning it over the Waldo County Sheriff's Office for delivery.
Blood tries hard to avoid having to send out summonses, she said. “I realize it's not on people's top 10 to-do list.”
Residents have until Jan. 31 to license their dogs with no penalty. The license fee for spayed or neutered animals is $6; for intact dogs it is $11. After that, the state requires the assessment of a $25 late fee. Blood gets a list of households that have not registered their dogs from the town after the Jan. 31 deadline has passed.
Lincolnville has 400 dogs, she said. Once she gets the list of dogs not registered by Jan. 31, Blood sends out a 10-day warning letter, reminded residents to come into the Town Office and register their dogs. That is followed by a 48-hour warning letter to those who still have not complied, and then she phones any remaining stragglers. The process reduced the number of unlicensed dogs from 60 as of Feb. 1 to the 19 who will receive summonses before April 1.
Those receiving summonses must appear in Waldo County District Court, and have to pay a $50 court fee, which can be made in more than one payment if necessary. In addition, they are required to pay the $25 late fee and the regular license fee, which must be paid at once, Blood said.
The town keeps a list of dogs that have previously been registered, which is one way Blood knows who should register this year. In addition, veterinarians are required to mail copies of the rabies certificates they issue to the state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry's Animal Welfare Program. The state then sends copies of the certificates to the towns, which helps town offices stay up to date on any new dogs, she explained.
In fact, most of the dog license fee goes to the state Animal Welfare Program; just $1 is kept by the town, Blood said. She added that the license requirement also helps ensure that dogs have been inoculated against rabies. Cats are also required to have rabies shots, but do not have to be licensed, she said.
Blood asked that residents who no longer have a dog, or who have moved out of town get in touch with her so she can take them off her list of Lincolnville dog owners.
Sarah E. Reynolds is copy editor for the Courier Gazette and Camden Herald.
Sarah E. Reynolds has been a reporter and writer for more than 20 years, winning awards from the Maine Press Association and other professional organizations. She loves to read, ride her ATV and play word games.
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