Sussex sitting on gold mine

Has Sussex County gone to the dogs? Let’s hope not, but the county has gone into the dog-licensing business.

Thanks to cost cutting at the state level, the state’s three counties are now charged with dog control. It’s not cheap to keep dogs under control; it will cost Sussex County at least $600,000, and probably a lot more.

The Kent County SPCA won the bid to provide actual dog control to Sussex residents, which is not a change from last year. The only difference this time around is that Sussex taxpayers are footing the entire bill without any state funding.

The county is, however, responsible for the sale of dog licenses. By law, all dogs except working dogs are supposed to be licensed. In reality, the SPCA claims only about 10 percent are. The SPCA also says there are about 48,000 dogs in Sussex County.

I need a license.

With a population of about 189,000, which is about 75,000 families, that means about 40 percent of Sussex homes have a dog. That number corresponds to the number of U.S. households owning dogs published by the Humane Society of the United States.

In my circle of friends and relations that number seems low. About 75 percent of those folks own dogs.

The county’s system is up and running and with a month to go before the deadline less than 800 of the expected 4,800 (10 percent of the total) dogs have been registered. Licenses are $10 or $15 depending if the dog is spayed or neutered.

There is a lot of work to be done to reach that number by March 1.

If the county reaches 10 percent, about $50,000 will be collected. It seems senseless to have a law only 10 percent of people follow. Can you imagine what the roads would be like if only 10 percent of drivers did the speed limit?

County officials need to step it up because they are sitting on a real gold mine. Even licensing half the dogs would bring in $240,000, a real bump in desperately needed revenues. Assigning, or even hiring, one person as the official dog-licensing enforcer would pay for itself.

Are sting operations and neighborhood and park road checks not too far off in the future? Bring on the house-to-house searches to round up those law-breaking Fidos.

To get more information about licenses, phone 855-7380.


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One Response to “Sussex sitting on gold mine”

  1. Randy Says:

    I agree 100% we should also take it one step farther & install video monitoring in every home so we can see everybody in the county and catch then when they do something wrong!

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