Most Dogs Not Registered or Known to City Officials

March 28, 2013
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The City has made great gains in the last year to license dogs residing in Revere, but still thousands of dogs are potentially unlicensed and unknown to City officials.

Per state law, dog owners are required to annually license their dog or dogs with the City Clerk of a municipality and pay a small fee. In return, each registered dog gets a tag to wear around its neck. That tag identifies the dog, its owner and any pertinent information about that dog. It also lets authorities know if a dog is potentially dangerous or has had incidents in the past.

However, despite the law, not many people register.

City Clerk Ashley Melnik said there are 2,811 registered dogs in the City, but probably a lot more unregistered.

“There are well-over 2,000 dogs in the City, obviously, but there’s just no real means of getting people in to register,” she said. “Some people don’t even know they have to do that.”

Melnik said they send out an annual mailer to homes in the City informing them of the need to register their dogs, but they certainly don’t get full cooperation in that.

Likewise, when the dog officer comes across an unleashed and unregistered dog, he does write the owner a ticket. Part of resolving that ticket includes fully registering the dog with the City Clerk.

This year, statistics show that many more people have registered their dogs, jumping from 1,170 in 2012 to 2,811 this year. There were 1,183 in 2011.

“We don’t have the manpower to go around and knock on doors looking to see if people have dogs, but if an unregistered dog comes by us, we will make the owner register that dog,” said Melnik. “Also, by law, when veterinarians do rabies shots, they have to send a certificate to the City Clerk and that’s how we’ve been building up the list this year. Most people will register once they know they have to.”

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