Owners face steep fines for keeping fur-babies untagged

Icey is a full blooded border collie. She lives with her pet parents, Jon and Crystal Simmons of Natchitoches, and her hen friend, inside the Natchitoches city limits. Icey has her city tags, rabies tag and is chipped. She loves going to NSU to give hugs and kisses during Addiction Studies Club meetings.

By Keator Poleman, Times Intern

Pet owners risk costly fines for violations to a City dog ordinance. Jonathan Meziere, director of Animal Control, said a court summons and fees of $296 or more may be issued for each incident.

Updated tags may be purchased from one of the five city vet clinics or the animal shelter for $2. However, owners must provide an up to date rabies certificate if they use the shelter.

“A $2 investment in their family member can save them hundreds of dollars and days missed from work from having to go to court,” he said.

The tag colors and designs are changed yearly and can only be used for one specific pet, he added. Transferring tags to another pet is illegal and in violation of the ordinance. Pets must wear their collars with the tags. In the event of an animal running away, Meziere said all tags are registered with the city, which makes it easier to track the pets’ whereabouts.

“Pig was a free newspaper pup from an elderly couple in Clarence. Mom was yellow lab and dad was black lab, but there may be some golden retriever in there somewhere. We got him at 8 weeks old. He’ll be 11 in January. e is the sweetest boy ever! He loves everyone except other large dogs. He has been a foster brother to 12 fosters with the Natchitoches Humane Society. He has lived up to his name. He’ll eat anything if you let him, except for pickles. Pig wears his city tags every day,” said pet mom Jennifer Foust

“We want every pet returned to their owner and City tags greatly increase that as we have a direct line to them, he said.

”Then we can assist in looking into how the pet escaped to prevent them from running at large, possibly being hit by a car, or picked up by a third party who doesn’t report a found dog.”