Ann Arbor residents love their dogs, an estimated 30,000 live in the city. Yet only about seven percent are properly tagged a despite state law and city ordinance requiring all dogs be licensed. There's an ongoing effort to boost this percentage in the city.
That effort kicked off this spring. That's when Ann Arbor officials needed to find a funding source to cover the city's portion of the animal control services agreement between Washtenaw County and the Human Society of Huron Valley.
City Clerk Jacqueline Beaudry says the discussion prompted more people to get dog tags. She says in the last several months residents have said they didn't realize they needed a dog license beyond a rabies certificate from their veterinarian.
To continue this trend of more dogs having tags, the city is considering changes to the dog licensing ordinance. Beaudry says the proposed changes include language highlighting the city's desire to eventually offer the ease of online licensing. "Had a couple of meetings with the county about a possible partnership or what kind of software technology changes could be made. I just wanted the ordinance to recognize that is a possibility and we're hoping to move in that direction in the future," Beaudry says.
There are other updates in the proposal. The current system of licensing dogs for two years, would move to one, two, and three year licenses, dependent on a dog's current rabies vaccination status.
The cost is likely to remain eight dollars a year, with the possibility of a discount for three-year licenses. Beaudry says the determination on cost will be made when City Council give the ordinance its second reading.
First reading of the measure will be held at tonight's council meeting.