Montcalm County dog census proves popular


By Darrin Clark • Last Updated 12:00 pm on Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dog licenses at a glance

Dog licenses can only be purchased through the Montcalm County Treasurer’s Office in the Montcalm County Administrative Building (old courthouse) at 211 W. Main St. in Stanton.
Licenses may be purchased by mail. You must include a current rabies certificate and proof of spaying or neutering.
State law requires all dogs 4 months old and older to have a current rabies vaccination and license.
An amnesty period from delinquent license fees takes place throughout March. The dog census will begin April 1.

Dog license fees are as follows:
• 1-year license unsexed: $10
• 3-year license unsexed: $25
• 1-year license sexed: $20
• 3-year license sexed: $40

Delinquent fees (starting April 1) are as follows:
• 1-year license unsexed: $20
• 3-year license unsexed: $35
• 1-year license sexed: $40
• 3-year license unsexed: $60

Call the Montcalm County Treasurer’s Office at (989) 831-7334 for more information or visit www.montcalm.org for an online application.

 

STANTON — The Montcalm County dog census amnesty period is well under way and the response has been overwhelming.

So overwhelming, in fact, that Montcalm County Treasurer JoAnne Vukin can’t handle the phone calls.

“We’ve been extremely busy ever since the article came out in the paper (Feb. 20),” Vukin recently told the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners. “Honestly, we’re going to have to let the phones go and wait on the people at the counter first. That’s another issue. If our phones were set up so they could automatically go to a recording, that would help, because folks just keep calling back and back.”

Commissioners had previously voted to start a dog census program to establish whether dog owners have updated licenses for their dogs, as well as to generate some extra revenue for the county.

An amnesty period from delinquency fees is taking place throughout March for residents who want to update their dog’s license before the census and fines start on April 1.

Vukin said she and her staff have been very busy dealing with dog license calls, as well as regular treasurer’s office duties.

“What we’re dealing with now are people who didn’t get their license renewed when they should have,” Vukin told commissioners. “We had one person who had 10-year-old dogs who had never had them licensed and they read about this and decided they should do something about it now.

“We certainly support it (the census) and realize the importance of it,” she added. “We’ll do the best we can.”

In response, commissioners voted to add a voice message system to the treasurer’s office.

“It was always the consensus of the board that we don’t have a lot of call trees and that someone always answers when they call,” said Montcalm County Controller-Administrator Chris Hyzer.

“It’s better to talk to an individual than a machine, but it’s better to talk to a machine than nothing,” noted Commissioner Lloyd Walker of Greenville.

Commissioners also voted to give an additional eight hours per week — a cost of about $7,000 — to conduct census work to Angie Sova or Matt Walrath, both of whom are officers for Montcalm County Animal Control starting April 1.

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