Friday, October 10, 2014

License your dog, or risk a rabies shot

Ketchum tables contract with Animal Shelter

Express Staff Writer

    If you’re a Wood River Valley pet lover, make sure your pooch is licensed.  
    Blaine County Animal Code requires all dogs 6 months or older to be licensed. To obtain a license, owners must show proof of rabies vaccinations.
    The issue arose during a Ketchum City Council meeting on Monday, Oct. 6, when the council was asked to approve an annual contract for services with the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley.  Council members elected to continue the discussion to a later date, in order to address questions regarding Blaine County and Idaho law.
    The contract for 2014-15 would pay the shelter $2,000 in four quarterly installments to “provide facilities and services for the care of safe housing of animals found in Ketchum.”
    The city pays veterinary bills, the contract states, for impounding animals within a seven-day timespan.
    The shelter works with law enforcement to recover lost animals. Animals become the property of the shelter if they aren’t picked up within seven days. Cats and ducks are not picked up by animal control, Ketchum Police Chief David Kassner said.
    Councilman Jim Slanetz expressed concerns that some dogs might be getting back-to-back rabies shots, a health hazard.
    “They just give someone’s dog a rabies shot if they get pulled in there,” Slanetz said. “They don’t even know the medical record of that dog—they just assume.”
    Kassner said that if they don’t have a chip or license to go off of, they’ll vaccinate the dog to protect other shelter animals and employees.
    “I think that’s just a standard operating procedure,” he said.
    Dogs shouldn’t get an extra shot, as long as they are wearing their license tags. If a pet is picked up from an impounding center, the owner will be charged for a rabies vaccination and a license in addition to holding fees if the dog was unlicensed.
    The city has a microchip reader, Kassner said, and lost dogs will be scanned.
    Pet owners can pick up a license from the shelter, the Ketchum or Sun Valley police department, St. Francis Pet Clinic, Sun Valley Animal Center or the Sawtooth Animal Center. Spayed/neutered dogs can be licensed for $10, and unaltered dogs are $20. The licenses are issued for one year.

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