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City invests in new dog tags

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Ogdensburg City Manager John M. Pinkerton has ordered new embossed dog license tags in response to criticism the city’s current sticker dog license tags do not provide enough information to help reunite lost dogs with their owners.

The city has been issuing stickers with new identification numbers to be placed onto old state Department of Agriculture and Market tags.

But St. Lawrence Valley Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Board President Karen Cunningham said the stickers can wear off, like they did for her dog, Max, within days.

“Dog owners are not aware of how important the information on the sticker is to identifying their dog,” she said.

Ms. Cunningham said if a lost dog is picked up without a sticker, it can make it impossible for the SPCA to trace its owner. She said Agriculture and Markets disbanded its dog license database in 2011, and tag information is the only way for owners to get their dogs back.

Mr. Pinkerton said Wednesday the initial decision to have sticker tags instead of embossed tags was made to cut costs, not to impede the SPCA.

“We are usually very cautious about every penny we spend,” Mr. Pinkerton said.

The City Clerk’s Office has ordered 10,000 new tags at a price of $1,700. Mr. Pinkerton said that the dog tags were ordered Aug. 12, and will take up to four to six weeks to be delivered.

“The old tags were adequate, but these new tags will be much more permanent, so if someone wanted a tag with a stamp on the back we will provide them with one,” Mr. Pinkerton said.

Ms. Cunningham said that as soon as the tags arrive, she will work with the city to begin notifying the public.

“We don’t want anyone to slip through the cracks,” Ms. Cunningham said. “It sounds like a minor thing, but all it takes is one lost animal. If this helps one animal get back home, it’s worth it.”

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