The Greater Parkersburg Humane Society handles nearly all of the pet control for Wood County. Much of its revenues come from the sale of dog licenses, which are handled through the Wood County’s assessor's office.
“County government can use the humane society to be in the animal control business. It gives us the opportunity through collection of fees to subcontract that responsibility out to the humane society,” says Steve Grimm.
West Virginia law says licenses are required for dogs beyond six months of age.
“I truly believe most people are willing to pay their dog licenses before they pay their property taxes. I don't think it's something they're trying to get away from,” says Grimm.
The purchase of dog licenses doesn't just help the humane society, however. They also help you, the pet owner, in locating lost or stolen dogs.
“They're a form of ID, they have numbers on them which lead us to their careers. Between us and the assessor's office, we can come up with the proper home and phone number, and get them back to their homes, nice and safe,” says Jackie Hoffman.
The Oct. 1 deadline is the end of a grace period for people who have not bought licenses for their dogs.
Assessor Grimm says those licenses cost a maximum of $6.
Owners of un-licensed dogs can be fined $100.
Dog licenses can be purchased in the assessors' office at the Wood County Courthouse during business hours.