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Town and Village

Dogs may be seized

DUMMERSTON—If an unnamed resident doesn’t license two aggressive dogs, the town’s animal control officer, Zeke Goodband, may seize the animals, as per the Selectboard and state statute.

Goodband, who also serves as the Selectboard chair, told Board members about the issue at their Oct. 26 regular meeting.

He said there are two unlicensed, aggressive dogs in town, and despite his sending the owner letters ordering the animals “be kept kenneled, tethered, or kept control of by the owner,” and licensed — “to the best of my knowledge they haven’t been licensed yet.”

“If I get a call from the emergency room and a person has been bitten, the first thing [hospital staff wants] to know is the rabies status of the dog,” Goodband said, noting that if the dog is unlicensed, “I have no idea, [and] that causes some consternation, especially with parents of children that have been bitten.”

State statute requires all dogs be licensed by April 1, Goodband said. By May 31, the town clerk is supposed to provide a “census of unlicensed dogs,” and the Selectboard then “gives the animal control officer permission to seize and destroy any unlicensed dogs.”

“I don’t think that’s ever been done in Dummerston, but it is, by statute, an option,” said Goodband, adding that usually people have been willing to comply, but not this time.

“I want to have the Board’s permission to have this option available to me when I go and talk to these people again,” he said.

After the Selectboard unanimously voted to authorize the town’s animal control officer to seize and destroy unlicensed dogs, Goodband said, “I hope this will provide more incentive to these individuals to get their dogs licensed.”

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Originally published in The Commons issue #382 (Wednesday, November 9, 2016). This story appeared on page C1.

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