Petrolia may need a dog census says mayor, dog catcher

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Art by former Art Advisory Committee member Sharon Stewart

Heather Wright/The Independent

Petrolia’s animal control officer says only three of the 55 dogs he’s dealt with in the last year have dog tags.

Jeff Dewhirst of JSG Animal Solution raised concerns with council about the lack of dog tags during his annual report Monday.

“Of all the 50 or 60 dogs I’ve interacted with, only two or three had dog tags,” says Dewhirst. The animal control officer suggested the town needs to work harder at getting people to have their dog’s tagged.

“With a dog tag, at least we have a number that I can call the (town) office and say I have this number…where does Lucy live?”

Without a tag, and no way to track whose dog is on the lam, Dewhirst says the animals end up with the Sarnia and District Humane Society. Owners have to obtain a dog licence before springing their pet from the pound and they have to pay a fee to pay for the dog’s stay with the society.

Councillor Debb Pitell suggested “the cost of dog tag and the security that the dog is treated well and is returned quickly is worth it.”

Clerk Mandi Pearson says the town sells about 250 dog tags each year, but it is not clear how many animals there actually are in the community. She added it may have been three years since the municipality did a ‘”Dog Census.”

Mayor Brad Loosley suggested it may be time for one so the municipality can get a handle on the number of tags needed.

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