Is your dog's life worth $9? If you think
so, you won't want to miss the deadline - M onday - to obtain its 2000 license.
The application forms must be postmarked by that date, or state law requires
Hamilton County Auditor Dusty Rhodes' office to double the county's $9 fee.
''That little piece of aluminum goes a long way toward getting your dog back
into the home'' if the pet is lost, said Rhodes' director of assessments, Kevin
E. Pyle, who oversees the licensing program. So that metal tag can save your
dog's life. At a minimum, it can save you significantly more money in fines and
dog-boarding fees, officials from the auditor's office and the county Society
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals agree. Auditor and SPCA officials say
there are a number of ways the tag can prevent a bad outcome to lost-pet
situations. For example, a dog may leave home and become lost, then hit by a
car. The driver of the car may take the seriously injured animal to a
veterinarian. But without knowing who owns the dog, the vet and the driver have
to make a decision: Will they pay for extraordinary measures to save a dog
whose owner may never be found? If not, the dog will likely be euthanized.
Perhaps the owner, if he had known, would have spent the money to save the dog.
To help smooth the application process, the auditor's office has added 11
Thriftway locations where people can pick up applications to mail in, and also
has added major pet stores to the list of outlets. Licenses can be purchased
directly at Hader Hardware stores, the SPCA and other locations. A map can be
found at Rhodes' Web site, http://www.hamiltoncountyauditor.org