Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Prairie Paws partners with city on pet tags, fees

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 12/4/2013

Local pet owners who are preparing to register their dogs with the City of Ottawa for the 2014 calendar year will have a new venue with which to do so.

Prairie Paws Animal Shelter and the City of Ottawa have entered into a partnership for dog registrations to be handled at the animal shelter, 3173 K-68, just east of Ottawa. Registration of all dogs within the corporate limits of the city is required on an annual basis by municipal code, Scott Bird, the city’s director of finance, said.

Local pet owners who are preparing to register their dogs with the City of Ottawa for the 2014 calendar year will have a new venue with which to do so.

Prairie Paws Animal Shelter and the City of Ottawa have entered into a partnership for dog registrations to be handled at the animal shelter, 3173 K-68, just east of Ottawa. Registration of all dogs within the corporate limits of the city is required on an annual basis by municipal code, Scott Bird, the city’s director of finance, said.

The animal shelter will register the animals for the city and retain the registration fees as a way to help support the efforts of the shelter, Bird said. More than 700 dogs were registered with the city in 2013, he said.

Ottawa residents who adopt a dog at the shelter will be able to register their new pet at the same time before they walk out the door, Jaron Asher, the shelter’s operations manager and deputy director, said of the new system, which will go into effect Jan. 1.

“We’re really excited about this opportunity,” Asher said. “Because we’re open later and on Saturdays, people won’t have to rush home after work or leave work early. I think that will be a nice benefit for the citizens of Ottawa.”

Donations for the community’s dog park, approved earlier this year by the city commission and set for construction at Forest Park, 320 N. Locust St., Ottawa, also can be made at the shelter, Bird said. Those donations will be sent to the city for construction of the park, he said.

An $8 fee for each sterilized male or female dog whose owner resides within the corporate city limits is to be paid at the time of registration, Bird said. The fee for nonsterilized dogs is $40 per animal, he said.

Along with the registration fee, the pet owner must provide proof that vaccinations are current for each pet, along with proof that the animal has been altered, if appropriate, Bird said.

Mail-in applications will be accepted, again with proof of rabies vaccination and proof of sterilization, Bird said. Registration forms can be found at www.ottawaks.gov or www.prairiepaws.org

Forms also are available at Prairie Paws and City Hall, 107 S. Hickory St., Bird said.

Prairie Paws representatives told Ottawa city commissioners during budget talks in June the shelter serves portions of five counties, along with several communities in those counties, with the lion’s share of animals coming from Ottawa and Franklin County.

Prairie Paws’ hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

Moving the registration to Prairie Paws also will give residents who are not familiar with the animal shelter a chance to visit the facility and see how it operates, Asher said.

In addition to the annual registration process, dog owners who have had their pets picked up by the Ottawa Police Department’s animal control officer can now pay their fines at the shelter, Asher said.

“They used to have to come to the shelter and see if it was their dog, then go to City Hall and pay the fine and then come back to the shelter and pick up their dog,” Asher said. “Now, they can pay their fine and leave with their dog.”

For more information on the registration process, call Prairie Paws at (785) 242-2967 or go to www.prairiepaws.org.  

“You’re always going to have a few glitches when you do something for the first time,” Asher said, “but we are hopeful this first year will run really smooth.”

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