CIAO, BELLA!

At least here in the Granite State, it’s a canine kind of thing. I recently learned that Bella is the most popular dog name in New Hampshire for 2019. Nationwide Insurance researched its database of more than 750,000 insured pets to identify the favorite (puppy) names in each state.

Hmmm. I actually have a friend who has three pugs, and one is named Bella, but this little cutie resides in nearby Dunstable, Mass.

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Other than that, I don’t know a single other pooch named Bella that makes N.H. her home. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a “beautiful” moniker for a girl or dog. I mean, who doesn’t like to be called “Bella?”

Now that June is upon us, here’s a little reminder about licensing your dog every year. You’re late, and you have to do it. There is no way around it. Besides, it’s cheap at $7.50 for a puppy and the same cost for a spayed/neutered dog. It’s $10 if your canine is not spayed/neutered. You can pay up in person at the City Clerk’s Office located at 229 Main Street, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Or you can license your dog by mail using the Dog License Form and enclosing a check. It’s that simple.

According to the city clerk’s office, the license period is set up to run from May 1st through April 30th of each year.

If you don’t bother to license your little Bella or Beau, then you’re asking for a fine. You’re actually breaking the law. And remember, you can’t fight City Hall, as the old saying goes. The powers-that-be mean business:

“$1.00 per month is assessed starting June 1st of each year and on the first day of each month thereafter until the dog is licensed. In addition, annually at the end of June, a warrant for unlicensed dogs is provided to the Animal Control Officer to issue a civil forfeiture fine of $32.00 for every unlicensed dog.”

Our furry, four-legged friends bring us a lot of love and companionship, so we owe it to them to keep them safe and have their license tags attached to their collar while in public.

City Clerk Patricia Piecuch can assist you with any questions you have about dog licensing at 603-589-3010.

Another key department in the city also works diligently to enforce the city ordinances as they pertain to domestic animals. The Animal Control Division officer can often be seen patrolling Nashua’s neighborhoods and responding to complaints.

I wasn’t aware of this, but the Gate City has a leash law, NRO 5-5, that states “It shall be unlawful for any dog to run at large.”

At large means that whenever Bella is off your property, she must be physically restrained. In other words, a strong voice command is not enough.

Felines have it a bit easier here in the Gate City. You could say that they are definitely the “cat’s meow” because they don’t have to be licensed or leashed.

Don’t even get me started about our new “Keeping of Chickens,” Ord. No. O-18-019. Up to six adult female chickens may now be kept on a lot. “Chickens shall not be permitted to roam free. Chickens shall be secured in a coop during non-daylight hours.”

Urban chickens don’t have to be licensed here. Now, that’s something to cluck about

Ms. Stylianos is a Nashua native. Her column is published weekly. She can be reached at jtania512@gmail.com.