Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Dog census in Michigan

Yes, some counties here in Michigan really do conduct a dog census, which is carried out by local animal control, as Michigan Capitol Confidential stated two years ago.
State law gives municipal governments the authority to go out and do door-to-door surveys and ask homeowners to produce licenses for their dogs. The pet owner can then be ticketed if the dog is not licensed, which can be nullified if a license is purchased within a certain number of days.
In fact, one such survey is being undertaken right now, as WOOD-TV reports in Ottawa County 'dog census' starts Tues.

Starting Tuesday, Ottawa County representatives will be going door-to-door to make sure all dogs are properly licensed in what it's calling a "dog census."
It's not just Ottawa County.  Genesee County did one last year, which MLive reported was very lucrative: $111,000 and counting: Genesee County cashing in on new dog licenses as census continues.
More than 2,700 dog owners without a valid license have purchased them as a result of the county's beefed-up census, and workers won't finish their work until mid-October.

Walt Rodabaugh, chief animal control officer for the county, said workers have brought in about $111,000 in new license fees, knocked on 32,000 doors, and issued 662 tickets to dog owners who didn't have proof their pets had been vaccinated for rabies.

"I'm very pleased with the program," Rodabaugh said. "I think it has helped all the way around" by raising funds and providing a system for owners to find lost canines.
In addition to Ottawa County, parts of Oakland County will be conducting their own censuses this month and next.  The unincorporated parts of Oakland County have already started, according to the Oakland Press.
The deadline to register for a dog license is Saturday. After June 1, the census team from Oakland County Animal Control will be going door-to-door in northern and southwest communities in the county to check if dog owners have a license. Communities outside of their municipality have their own animal control, which will enforce the law, said [Oakland County Animal Control administrative supervisor Joanie] Toole.
Royal Oak will wait another month, with C&G Newspapers reporting City to perform dog census in July.
Beginning in July, census workers employed by the city will be going door to door to account for and ensure every pet dog in the city is licensed.

The City Commission voted 6-0 to approve the census at the May 20 meeting. Commissioner Jim Rasor was absent. The commission also approved rate increases for purchasing dog licenses, which will go into effect in July, and an amnesty period throughout June for dog owners delinquent on renewing their licenses. A dog is considered delinquent if a license is not renewed within 45 days of the expiration date, according to the City Clerk’s Office.

The amnesty period and delayed effective date for the rate hikes are an attempt to incentivize residents to have their dogs vaccinated and licensed before the census begins.

Census workers will knock on doors, check for a dog and ask if the dog is licensed, according to the approved resolution. If the dog is not licensed, the owner will have 14 days to have the dog vaccinated for rabies and purchase a dog license.

If the owner still does not comply, the city’s animal control officer is authorized to issue a misdemeanor ticket for harboring an unlicensed animal.

City Attorney Dave Gillam said the maximum fine for the charge is $500, but it is up to the judge’s discretion. City Manager Don Johnson said the city will hire two census workers at $10 per hour to do the job.

According to the city, there are about 23,000 pet dogs in Royal Oak, based on the 2010 census. Yet, the city clerk has given out only about 3,500 active dog licenses.
As you can see, this is serious business.  Remember that Julie Bass went to court over her dogs not being licensed.  Fortunately, all charges were dismissed.  Just the same, I don't want that kind of hassle.  Time to get my dogs licensed.


  1. how do you type the loudest possible scream??? this is my 3rd time reading your post, and the first time i was calm enough to watch the news clip... if the city is so benevolent to want to hire someone to go door-to-door to give information, how about giving info just about shots and spay/neuter? if they pay too much to transport animals to the humane society (thus justifying this program to raise money for the city by invading your privacy), here's a thought: STOP DOING THAT AND MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS, CITY!!! if an animal is dangerous and menacing, dial 911, otherwise, man up and stop expecting the city to be your babysitter unless you want then to be overbearing like this knocking on doors nonsense. ugh. wanna know how i really feel???

  2. Hi, Julie!

    "how do you type the loudest possible scream???"

    ALL CAPS and formatted with the BOLD (or STRONG) HTML tags, like so.


    I'd add the BIG HTML tag, but the comments section of Blogspot won't accept it.

    That, or just embed a screaming sheep video.

  3. okay, so now i have a new reason to love you for a source of information: the screaming sheep video!!! priceless!!! who knew?!?!?!?!?! ;)

    1. *Bows* Thank you.

      Speaking of which, thanks for linking to this entry. It has been viewed 95 times and counting since you did.

      That reminds me. I have to write that acceptance speech for the award you gave me, and you'll feature prominently. After all, it was you who got my blog more than 4,000 page views a month for the first time. I have a lot to thank you for!

    2. the 'gardeb renegade' effect at work...

    3. It's not the first time that's happened. I have an entire entry about it.

      The first year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News: Part 2 of several

  4. luv the screaming sheep vid...
    as for the rest, i live in a town (in the most westernized state in Brazil, i might add) where no-one is checked, dogs are regularly abandoned & the number of free-roaming cats reached epidemic proportions before the extermination crew got going (town hall-licensed mass murder of kitties!!)
    if you get bitten or scratched by a dog or cat YOU NEED TO GET A SHOT to guarantee you won't get rabies or some other horrible tropical bug. this is the result of zero licensing and zero health surveillance... (and it is as bad as it sounds).
    i would pay US$ 20 a year if everyone would get their dogs and cats licensed, mostly for the security factor in knowing that every pet is vaccinated yearly.
    i really believe there is such a thing as too much freedom for dumb-asses!!! which increases everyone’s health risk (and let’s face, some people just can’t help themselves). just saying…