Counting canines: Kingston will conduct citywide dog census
By Paul Kirby, Freeman staff
KINGSTON - Dog owners, beware: Matt Peters is about to come knocking.
Peters, the city's dog warden, is set to conduct an all-encompassing dog census, and he's out looking, in part, for canines that are unlicensed.
In recent years, Kingston has completed partial dog counts, but it's expected that, this time around, canines of all types will be accounted for, said City Clerk Kathy Janeczek, who oversees the city's dog-licensing program.
"At this time, it is our hope to complete a dog census for the city of Kingston," Janeczek said. "It is our goal."
The idea is not only to get a handle on just how many dogs reside in the city, but to determine how many are licensed, which is required under state law, Peters said.
"We are going to go door to door though the city of Kingston," said Peters, who guessed the census would be completed in three to four months. "This is going to give us a good idea of how many dogs are in the city."
Starting July 1, Peters will be out on the prowl, checking each and every residence in the city for dogs. Owners of dogs that are not licensed will be assessed $5 on top of the regular license fee.
License fees vary. A license for a dog that is spayed or neutered costs $6.50. Licenses for dogs that are not spayed or neutered cost $14.50. Pet owners also must prove their dogs have had rabies shots to get a license.
State law requires dog licenses to be renewed each year.
Peters said that extra $5 fee can be avoided if dog owners visit City Hall before July 1 and get their pets licensed. They must bring proof of neutering or spaying and of rabies vaccination.
If a dog owner is otherwise caught with an unlicensed canine prior to the July 1 start of the census, that person could face a maximum penalty of $25.
In the past, Janeczek said, dog wardens have served part-time and never were able to complete a citywide dog census. Typically, the dog warden worked less than four hours a day.
In the late 1990s, Janeczek said, the position was changed to full-time.
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