CHESTER – The 2014 dog licenses are available at the town clerk/tax collector’s office, and all owners of canines are urged to get theirs soon. By state law, all owners of dogs over 4 months old are required to register their pets annually and keep the tag on the canine’s collar. Town clerk/ tax collector Barbara Gagnon facilitates that process for the people of Chester.
Dogs need to be licensed by April 30 to avoid late fines or a civil forfeiture. Late fees total $1 per each month of unpaid fees. Further, the law stipulates a $25 forfeiture to the town, should the fee not be paid within 15 days of the owner’s being notified of failure to register.
If licenses are not obtained, the police department will eventually show up at the door. Police chief Bill Burke recently told the selectmen that the process his department and the town clerk goes through to make sure the town is in compliance with state law on this point took many man hours, between sending out letters, making phone calls and finally driving out to the homes in question. The matter has gone to court for some in the past.
Dogs may be registered in person at the Town Clerk/Tax Collector’s office, electronically or by mail. For an application or e-registration guidelines, visit www.chesternh.org. Vaccination certificate, spayed/ neutering certificate, a check for the correct amount and a self-addressed envelope must be sent to the office.
New this year is the convenience of a drop box at the front door of the municipal building for residents to leave their paperwork.
The cost is $9 for unaltered males or females, $6.50 for spayed and neutered dogs. For persons age 65 or above, the fee for the first dog is $2, but the regular fee applies to all additional dogs.