CHESTER – Town clerk/ tax collector Barbara Gagnon is urging people to get their dogs registered with the town early this year.
Chester ran into some complications this past year with unlicensed dogs and a need to abide by state law as it pertains to their registration, but officials are hoping to avoid that mess this coming year.
Chester police were recently forced to bring over 80 residents to Derry District Court over unpaid licensing fees for 2014.
By state law, all owners of dogs over 4 months old are supposed to register their pets annually and keep the tag on the canine’s collar; the deadline for getting those licenses is April 30.
According to state law, “every owner or keeper of a dog 4 months old or over shall annually cause it to be registered, numbered, described, and licensed for one year in the office of the clerk of the town in which the dog is kept. Regardless of when the license is obtained, the license shall be effective from May 1 of each year to April 30 of the subsequent year.”
Gagnon facilitates the licensing requirement for Chester’s canine owners. Residents can get the license(s) either in person at the clerk’s office, by mail or online by visiting the clerk’s page at www.chesternh.org. Register through the mail by downloading the appropriate form at the above address. Directions are on the site.
By law the town needs to serve civil forfeiture fines of $25 for unregistered dogs. Each year a lot of time goes into making sure all dog owners have the licenses. Letters are sent, calls are made and at the end, the police department sends officers out.
A $1 late fee is applied as of June 1.
Licensing fees are as follows: Spayed or Neutered, $6.50; Unaltered, $9; Citizen over 65, $2 for first dog only; Kennel (five or more), $20.
Current rabies certificates must be on file with the town clerk.