Buying dog tags could get easier

Washington County residents will have some new options for buying dog tags starting Dec. 1, with the licensing requirement no longer necessarily an annual inconvenience.

Washington County Commissioners will consider approving costs Thursday for the two new dog license options coming later in the year.

Included in the state budget bill (House Bill 59) signed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich on June 30 was a provision that will allow Ohio residents to buy dog licenses for more than one year at a time.

While state statute mandates the cost be in increments of $2 and adds the two options for dog licenses, the exact cost of each option is left to the commissioners to set, depending on what they feel is appropriate for the dog and kennel fund, said Washington County Auditor Bill McFarland.

For the first time, residents will be able to buy a three-year tag for $48 or permanent license for $160. The one-year tag still will be available for $16.

Dog owner Ciji Painter, 28, of Marietta, said she was not sure how helpful the permanent tags would be for her since her dogs are already 6 and 7. She said she might reconsider a permanent license if she had a puppy.

“I would go do it in January like we normally do,” Painter said.

So far, for 2013, the Washington County Auditor’s Office said Monday, 11,231 dog licenses have been sold.

“Once in a while, people will say they wish they didn’t have to come in each year,” McFarland said.

Offering a multi-year option could keep more people in compliance as well.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office reports more than 1,000 dogs in the county that are unregistered, based on registrations from 2013 licenses sold.

The owning of dogs is regulated by Ohio Revised Code for the protection of citizens, and the well-being of the dogs, according to the code.

McFarland also advises the dog licenses still would be available Dec. 1 through Jan 31. The licenses are non-transferable and non-refundable, if the dog dies before the license expires.

Lauren Fulk, 22, of Marietta, brought her four-legged friend, Shadow, to play Monday at the Marietta Community Dog Park.

Once he was unleashed, the 3-year-old Schnauzer-Lab mix ran from fence to fence, marking his territory every few feet, will all the energy human 3-year-old children have.

“It’s nice not having to renew them as often,” Fulk said of the dog license options.

McFarland said he views this as another unfunded demand from Columbus.

“They’re going to have to order more tags and have significant computer upgrades to sell the tag,” he said.