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WARREN Dog catchers to use a new kind of Net



Published: Wed, June 6, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Officials hope the Internet will boost dog license sales.

WARREN -- Dog licenses, lost animal notices and even a live "kennel kam" of the county dog pound could soon only be a mouse-click away.

Earlier this week, the Trumbull County Data Board, which reviews computer projects, looked at a proposal by the county auditor, whose department is responsible for the sale of dog licenses, to put the dog catcher's office in cyberspace.

The board will discuss the proposed contract again when it meets next month.

For a one-time fee of $6,500, Boardman-based Lightgov L.L.C. would develop an electronic database of county dog licenses, whether sold over the Internet, directly by the auditor or by one of the more than 30 outlets in the county authorized to sell them.

"Ultimately, this is a service the community will want to use and they will end up using us," said Sreenu Raju, the company CEO.

Profit margin: The company would make money from a $2 surcharge on each of the $8 licenses it sells over the Internet. Raju said, to his knowledge, Trumbull will be the first county to take advantage of a February law allowing auditors to sell dog licenses on line.

He estimated that 2,500 to 5,000 licenses could be sold over the Internet in the first year. Last year, the department sold 16,522 licenses, down from 20,146 the previous year.

"There is a steady decline in the number of dog licenses sold in the county," said Auditor David Hines. "We are trying to turn that around."

Not feasible: Chief dog warden Robert Campana thinks selling licenses online is not a bad idea, but the more advanced features, like the live kennel pictures, just won't fly.

The Anderson Avenue dog pound only has space for about 30 animals, Campana said, far smaller than what is needed. Most strays are killed three days after being picked up. About 25 dogs are put to sleep each week.

"If we try to put a dog picture on the Internet we'd have to hold the dog," he said. "We don't have room for that."




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