Warning: Keep shots, licenses up-to-date

Published 4:25 pm Monday, May 31, 2010

With warm weather now in full swing, Suffolk Animal Control is reminding Suffolk residents to follow the laws that apply to their pets and livestock.

A string of summonses have been issued in Suffolk in recent weeks for residents who lack city licenses for their dogs, and proof of rabies vaccinations for their dogs and cats. City spokeswoman Debbie George says the arrests were made in response to complaints of animals running at large and lacking vaccinations and licenses.

Dogs and cats over the age of four months in Suffolk must have rabies shots. Dogs over the age of six months must have a dog license, which can be obtained either at Suffolk Animal Control or at the treasurer’s office. All dogs must be on a leash when not on their owner’s property.

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Animal Control Chief Meghann McGillvray-Chapin said following the laws surrounding animals is important not just because it is the law, but because of community health.

“Especially with having the animals current on their rabies shot, we’ve got a lot of wildlife in the city of Suffolk,” McGillvray-Chapin said. “Rabies is 100 percent fatal. Vaccination protects the animals and the humans that come in contact with those animals.”

Likewise, the citywide leash law, which went into effect in some areas on Feb. 17, is for safety’s sake, she said.

“It’s about safety for your animals, and safety for the citizens of Suffolk,” she said.

For more information about laws pertaining to animals in Suffolk, call 514-7855.