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Protect your dog and others
REGION- Over the past several weeks there has been an outbreak of Parvo (CPV) throughout River Valley towns and it needs to be known that this is a highly-contagious virus that is airborne and will affect any dog that is not vaccinated properly.
Granted, this is a pressing time of year when it comes to your wallet, but any animal you own should be considered a member of your family and you wouldn't want to deprive your child of all the vaccinations they need to stay healthy. If you are unsure if your dog has been vaccinated, it is of utmost importance that you contact your veterinarian immediately.
As this is also the time of year when owners need to license their dogs, it's very important that you keep collars and identifying information on your dog at all times.
Consider this, you're driving along a desolate stretch of snow-covered road and all of a sudden your headlights shine up a dark figure near the snowbank. You begin to slow and notice it's a dog. As you fear for its safety, you pull over and get the owner's information from the collar. You call the number listed and are able to return the dog to the proper owners.
Sadly, this isn't always the case. Many owners fail to outfit their pet with a collar, let alone any identifying information. Leaving you with many questions as you don't know who the poor thing belongs to. You don't want to leave him out there to be hit by a vehicle, so you stay with him and call 9-1-1 and tell them you need to make contact with an animal control officer (ACO). They put you in touch with the appropriate dispatch office and there's hope that the dog will be returned safely.
According to Sue Milligan, ACO for Rumford, “There are many times the dog will have a collar, but then not have any tags. They end up having to go to McKennel's, where Marsha has limited space, and then it's a matter of finding the owners or hoping the dog will be adopted.”
The deadline to register your dog was December 31, but you have until January 31 before you will be responsible for paying a $25 state-mandated late fee on top of the $6 licensing fee. It's an obvious choice, but if you are the owner of more than one dog, you definitely want to license them before you are assessed this fee or the Animal Control Officer (ACO) comes looking for you.
Under Maine state law, all dogs need to be licensed in the town where it resides when they reach six months of age, or after the dog has been with the family for 10 days if the dog has been adopted.
By licensing your dog, you are supporting your local ACO, state humane agents, investigations of animal cruelty complaints and enforcement of animal welfare laws, care for sick or injured stray animals, return of lost dogs to their owners and insuring compliance of rabies vaccination for dogs.
Do all you can to keep your pet safe. Keep them up to date on their vaccinations and be sure to license them.
There will be a rabies clinic at the Andover fire station on Sunday, January 7 from 2 until 4 p.m. The cost is only $15 cash only, per animal.