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'Make your beagle legal,' says New Canaan town clerk

Published 11:01 am, Sunday, June 9, 2013
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Reminder notices have been mailed by the New Canaan town clerk's office to owners of all dogs on the town's license list, according to Town Clerk Claudia Weber.

"We refer to it as the `make your beagle legal' season, which adds a little humor to the state-mandated process," Weber said. "When I first became town clerk, there was so much resistance to licensing, and I wanted to promote the process in a positive and happy way. People always smile when they hear that phrase."

Licenses will be valid from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014, and may be obtained in person Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the town clerk's office, second floor of the temporary Town Hall at 237 Elm St. Renewals also may be done through the mail or, for the first year, online. New Canaan joins a handful of other municipalities to offer dog license renewals online. Requests for renewals may be purchased online at www.newcanaan.info. A convenience fee of 2.24 percent will be added to the original amount, with a minimum fee of $1.75 per transaction. Once the payment is made, the dog license and tag will be mailed to the owner.

The State of Connecticut requires all dogs age 6 months and older to be licensed by the end of June. A current rabies vaccination certificate and proof of spaying or neutering must be provided to the town clerk's office at the time of application.

The cost of a license is $8 if the dog is spayed or neutered and $19 if the dog is not. Under state law, licenses obtained after June 30 will be penalized with a late charge of $1 per month. Owners who do not license their dogs could receive a fine of not less than $75 but not more than $211.

Requests for dog licenses through the mail must include: The owner's name, address, phone number, dog's name, age, gender, colors, breed, proof of current rabies vaccination, proof of spaying or neutering, a self-addressed, stamped return envelope and a check for the appropriate fee made payable to the New Canaan Town Clerk. Requests can be mailed to Town Clerk, P.O. Box 447, New Canaan CT 06840.

All dogs are required to wear both rabies and license tags affixed to their collar or harness at all times. Fines could be incurred for noncompliance. A current dog license is also required in order to obtain an annual membership to Spencer's Run. Applications for membership to Spencer's Run may be downloaded from www.newcanaan.info and must be submitted to the Park and Recreation Department at Waveny Park.