AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Thousands of Richmond County pet owners have already followed a new ordinance that will help local government keep track of who has a furry friend. It’s going quite well. There are very few complaints with the exception of the fact that you now have to register your pet.
Kennel Operations Manager Priscilla Crisler described the process this way, “It’s been organized chaos, but we’ve been managing very well.”
Pet registration is an opportunity for each pet owner in Augusta-Richmond County to let leaders know who the furry members are in the family.
“We’ve done at least 600 and maybe a few more. We’ve had 1500 plus more either mailed on or done online,” Crisler explained.
Those numbers include registrations done both at Animal Services and the Tax Commissioner’s Office. Commissioners failed to increase the shelter’s budget, so Crisler said the office was unable to increase its resources and are working through the backlog with only about 20 on staff, including 6 catchers.
I took time to register my pet, Coco Chanel, while down at Animal Services to show just how simple the process can be in person.
Once inside, I had to complete an application and include rabies information too. Next, my vet faxed my dog’s rabies information, which included proof that she has been spayed. You will want to bring proof of rabies vaccination and whether your animal is spayed or neutered with you or it must be scanned if you’re registering online. The difference can cost you ten bucks.
“The biggest part is people coming up with their documents and if they don’t have them then they are having to go back to their vet to get duplicate copies of those,” Crisler said.
After your pet is officially registered, Animal Services will provide you with a license tag. Go ahead and put the tag on your pet’s collar, next to its rabies tag. Believe it or not, if your pet gets lost it will help you.
Crisler added, “We’re going to do everything we can go get in touch with you. Officers will leave a note on your door saying we have your pet.”
Following the rules by registering your pet also keeps shelter numbers low and some owners know that.
Carl Greenway registered his pets at Animal Services.
“The process is very easy and straightforward. I just had to find my paperwork. I have a cat that I had fixed, but I can’t find the paperwork so I still have to pay the $10 fee.”
Greenway also added that he wasn’t a fan of being told what to do with his pets, but he understood the importance.
“It is a county ordinance. It’s something they have to do to control the pet population because it does get out of control and pets do get out of control. Without rabies vaccine you could be in danger of getting injured yourself or making your neighbors sick or another animal.”
Crisler said tags have already gone out so you can expect those in the mail. Be sure to look at when your pet’s rabies vaccination expires. That is when you will also need to update your registration with the city.