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Nashua residents with unlicensed dogs to be fined

By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent

August 10. 2018 10:20PM




NASHUA — Civil forfeiture notices are about to be issued to more than 1,200 dog owners who have failed to register their canines in the Gate City.

“As of this morning we still had 1,228 owners or 1,532 dogs that are still not currently licensed in the city of Nashua,” City Clerk Patricia Piecuch said earlier this week.

That number was significantly higher two months ago, according to Piecuch, who said the city previously had about 3,000 unregistered dogs.

Dogs must be registered with the city on an annual basis. Although there is no law that requires municipalities to send out renewal notices reminding owners to register their pets, Piecuch said the city mails or emails renewal notices in March, and postcard reminders are sent in May to those people who still failed to register their dogs on time.

“Nobody wants to fine these owners,” she stressed.

In June when there were still nearly 3,000 unlicensed dogs in the city, employees began making phone calls and speaking with dog owners reminding them that they have unlicensed dogs that need to have their paperwork updated.

“Some of them were very appreciative of the phone calls,” said Piecuch, adding a small number were angry — including some dog owners that have been on the civil forfeiture list for years.

As a result of those phone calls, she said about 1,467 more dogs were registered, but 1,532 are still not licensed.

She requested this week that the Board of Aldermen commit the warrant to the police chief or his designee to issue a Notice of Civil Forfeiture to the 1,228 dog owners who have failed to renew or license their dog or dogs as required under state statute.

“As you can see, we still have quite a few people that have not licensed their dogs,” she told an aldermanic committee that recommended approval of her request.

A $25 fine for civil forfeiture will be instituted to the dog owners, as well as a $7 cost of service, which totals a $32 fine for each unregistered dog.

Alderman June Caron said she appreciates the city clerk’s office for taking time the past two months to call dog owners, saying some elderly residents probably missed the notices and were appreciative of the reminders via telephone.

“We have to do what we have to do,” Caron said of the remaining dog owners and the civil forfeiture notices.

Statewide, every dog owner must annually register or renew the dog’s license in the community in which the dog is kept; that license is effective from May 1 of each year to April 30 of the subsequent year, according to the city’s website. The cost to register a dog varies from $3 to $10.

NashuaNews@unionleader.com


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