TRUMBULL COUNTY Dogged canvassers to check for licenses
Purchases of dog licenses dropped nearly 20 percent when the door-to-door crew didn't show up.
By STEPHEN SIFF
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- A knock on the door.
"Dog Warden's Office," the furloughed college student will say. "Got a license for that dog?"
After a two-year absence, the dog warden is again putting summer help out on the street to collar unlicensed dogs.
For $8 an hour, they will go door-to-door through much of Trumbull County, inquiring about a license at homes where they see telltale signs of dog occupancy.
The five canvassers will start June 11 and continue their work with badges and citation books through August.
Warnings to be given: The owners of unlicensed pooches will get a warning to buy a tag within three days or face a judge, said Robert Campana, chief dog warden.
"If you are not scared in some way, there is a certain number of people who won't get 'em," he said of the license tags.
The numbers bear this out.
Sending out the summer brigade had been a regular practice for the dog warden until 1999, when Campana decided to see what would happen without it.
The number of dog licenses sold by the department plummeted nearly 20 percent last year, to 16,522 from 20,146 in 1999.
Costs of licenses: The program pays for itself, he said. Licenses, which normally cost $8 apiece, sell for $16 each after Jan. 31, when a late charge is applied.
"If I had these kids all year round, I'd hate to say what this place would bring in," he said.
Canvassers hit many houses in the more urbanized parts of the county and hang fliers on many mailboxes in the outlying areas.
As word spreads that they are on the beat, even people who have not been visited yet go out an get a license, Campana said.
The money from dog-license fees is the primary source of revenue for the dog warden's office, which employs two full-time dogcatchers and a pound for strays.