Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Oneida County's Best Friends: A Census of Licensed Dogs

The Utica Observer Dispatch has a story in today's paper  about the fact that many older people often leave pets for someone to have to care for when they have passed away. It examines the issues of pet ownership among older members of our community, as well as the prospect of leaving a person's estate to their surviving pets.

For the most part, New York only requires the licensing of dogs by municipalities. According to the State,  all dogs over the age of four (4) months must be licensed.  In order to be licensed the dog must have its rabies vaccination certificate from a veterinarian. Licenses are acquired through the town or city clerk's office typically.

Dogs of course do require a lot of attention and work. But they also can provide a great deal of comfort, joy and satisfaction. This article by the Mother Nature Network  explores the benefits of dog ownership.

In Oneida County a recent inquiry to town and city clerks shows that nearly 15,000 dogs were licensed here in 2011 (five towns did not respond to a request for data). Below you can see the counts for the last five years in the County by municipality. For some years, records were either not available or too difficult to get to given the limited scope of this inquiry.