New York hands off dog licensing to towns

NORWICH – As of Jan. 1, 2011, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets will be out of the dog business.

After that, municipalities will have to pick up all licensing expenses, including issuing paper registrations, providing dog tags and mailing renewal notices to dog owners in their jurisdictions.

A group of town clerks told members of a county committee Tuesday that it was unclear how the transition would occur.

“It’s been dumped in our laps. We will have to muddle through this,” said North Norwich Clerk Loretta L. Smith, speaking for four town clerks who appeared before the Chenango County Agriculture, Buildings and Grounds Committee. The group represented a newly-formed association of town clerks that plans to meet regularly to discuss this and other duties of the office.

Smith asked county lawmakers for direction on budgeting dog monies for 2011. She also suggested that the committee revisit and perhaps revise local law on dog licensing and set standardized fees across all towns.

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