ROYAL OAK (WWJ) – In Royal Oak, you may get a knock on your door from animal control officers as part of a dog census getting underway Monday following what city leaders say has been a rash of dog bite cases.
Animal control officers will be canvassing neighborhoods to make sure pet owners have their furry friends licensed and vaccinated rabies..
Most dog owners taking their pets out Monday morning tell WWJ Newsradio 950’s Ron Dewey the dog census is no skin off their nose being their pooches already have their tags.
But some expressed mixed feelings.
“We have people making laws about things they don’t know anything about,” said one dog owner.
Aaron Dill, who was walking his pit bull in his Royal Oak neighborhood, he has mixed feeling about the dog census.
“It doesn’t hurt anything, but it doesn’t help anything,” Dill said.
Dill thinks it’s a money grab by city hall, with fines as much as $500 for dog owners who fail to comply. “The same problems that probably existed probably always will, because dogs will be dogs — and people are people,” Dill said.
Said another Royal Oak man: “I’m sure that it will license more dogs, and maybe that raises a little money for the city. I’m not sure that it’s going to have any effect on problem dogs — if there are problem dogs.”
City officials estimate there are about 23,000 dogs in Royal Oak — with only 3,500 licensed. They say unlicensed dogs are behind half of all dog bites in Royal Oak; and that making sure all dogs are licensed will help to more quickly locate the owners of lost dogs.
A three-year license is $20.
Owners with dogs found to be unlicensed will be given 14 days to purchase a license, with a $20 penalty assigned. Owners who don’t get a license will be fined.