Unlicensed Dog Owners Facing Civil Forfeiture

CHESTER – There are still about 300 dogs in Chester without licenses for the year, and if their owners don’t get their tags soon, their homes will be visited by a police officer. State law requires dogs to be licensed by June 1, and if they’re not, and it’s been 15 days since the owner has been notified, then towns are forced to send out civil forfeitures of $25 for each unlicensed pet. That paperwork is hand delivered by police officers.

It’s a lot of paperwork for the town clerk’s office and the police department, and they’re hoping to avoid that process as well as fining their neighbors.
All dogs over four months of age need to annually register, and owners are supposed to keep the license tag on the dog. The cost is $9 for unaltered males or females, $6.50 for spayed and neutered dogs, and for human seniors (65 or older) the first dog is $2, but the regular fee follows. There is a $1 per month late fee assessed if the tag isn’t obtained by April 30.

By state law all owners of dogs over four months old are supposed to annually register their canines and keep the tag on a collar around the dog’s neck
Dogs may be registered in person at the Town Clerk/ Tax Collector’s office, electronically or by mail. For an application or e-registration guidelines visit www.chesternh.org. Owners will need to send a vaccination certificate, spayed/neutering certificate, check for the correct amount, and a self-addressed envelope to the office. New this year is the convenience of a drop box at the front door of the municipal building for residents to drop off paperwork.

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