City orders new supply of pet tags

As of Sunday, Clovis Police Chief Steve Sanders said 998 registrations had been filed for pets. The department originally ordered 1,000 tags.

Kevin Wilson

Just weeks into the city’s new pet registration ordinance, residents have already exhausted the city’s first order of tags.

As of Sunday, Clovis Police Chief Steve Sanders said 998 registrations had been filed for pets, with a free tag issued for each pet. The department originally ordered 1,000 tags, fearing a larger order might result in wasted tags.

“We’ve never done this before,” said Amy Sellers, an administrative assistant to Sanders. “We had no idea what kind of response we were going to get.”

Another 1,000 tags have been ordered, with delivery expected Aug. 13. In the meantime, Sanders said pet owners could still register pets, and the tags would be mailed to owners when they become available.

Owner information is entered into a database, which helps animal control officers quickly return loose pets to their owners and cuts down on animals sent to the animal shelter, where there is a risk of euthanization.

There is a 90-day grace period for residents to register their pets, which runs through mid-October.

After the grace period expires, owners with unlicensed pets caught at large are subject to a misdemeanor citation. Punishments are as severe as a $500 fine and 90 days in jail.

There is no charge for the license.

Owners must be able to prove their pets have their current rabies vaccination and either a city-issued tag, an implanted microchip or a distinguishable marking.

“There are still some fail-safes in there so that the tag isn’t the only thing that identifies (the pet),” Sanders said.

Licenses are good for three years, keeping in line with rabies vaccination time frames.

Sellers said the city orders 1,000 tags at a time because it is the cheapest rate for the program. The city pays $160.77 per 1,000 tags, with each tag including a chain.

The department will take a hit on postage mailing out late tags, Sellers said, but Sanders considers the cost acceptable because of the heavy participation in the program.

Sellers said plans could always change, but the increased costs shouldn’t lead to a pet registration fee.