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The original item was published from 2/14/2012 11:05:51 AM to 3/2/2012 12:05:03 AM.

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Posted on: February 14, 2012

[ARCHIVED] County Issued Animal Tags Remain the Best Way to Recover Lost Pets

ROANOKE COUNTY, VA – (February 14, 2012) The Roanoke County Police Department is encouraging pet owners to purchase animal tags for their dogs and cats in the event the animal becomes lost or stolen.

Pursuant to state and county code, residents are required to vaccinate and then license their dogs and cats. To purchase a dog or cat license/tag from Roanoke County, owners need to bring the animal’s current rabies vaccination record from their veterinarian to the Roanoke County Treasurer’s office located at 5204 Bernard Drive, Roanoke, behind 419 West Restaurant. A one-year animal tag for a dog or cat costs $5.00 for neutered or spayed pets, or $10.00 per-year for unneutered pets. Three-year tags are $13.50 for neutered or spayed pets, or $27.00 for unneutered pets. For more information about purchasing a Roanoke County issued animal tag by mail, contact the Treasurer’s office at (540) 772-2056.

Animal control calls in Roanoke County are handled by specially trained Police Officers known as Community Service Officers (CSOs). When a CSO picks up an animal wearing an animal tag issued by Roanoke County, the officer is immediately able to access the owner’s name and contact information, regardless of the time of day, through a database administered by the Treasurer’s Office. Officers attempt to notify the owner, and if convenient to both the officer and owner, the pet is soon returned. Otherwise, the pet is taken to the Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection to await pickup.

The Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection, which serves as the central “dog pound” for Roanoke County, Roanoke City and Botetourt County, receives more than 7,000 animals a year. Many of these strays are pets that have wandered away from their homes and families. Since 2004, the center has reunited more than 7,100 pets with their families and, many times, the pet’s license or Roanoke County issued animal tag has played a role in the animals’ quick and safe return home.

Besides ownership, a Roanoke County issued animal tag shows the CSO that the animal belongs to a family concerned enough about rabies to have their pet vaccinated against this deadly disease. In 2011, the Virginia Health Department reported 620 cases of confirmed rabies in the region. Although the majority of cases involved foxes, raccoons and skunks, 30 cats and three dogs were reported as having contracted the disease. Untreated rabies is fatal to animals and humans. The best way to protect your family from rabies is to have your pet vaccinated.

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