SHE'S NUMBER ONE -- This little black and white Shih Tzu known as Precious was the first animal to be registered in the City of Jasper’s new program. Precious’ owner, Jasper resident Joyce Roberts, arrived at city hall for last Saturday’s registration day 30 minutes before the 9 a.m. start time.
Dozens of Pickens County pet owners had their favorite felines and canines in tow last Saturday, when the City of Jasper hosted its first animal registration day.
“This thing has already been a success,” said City of Jasper Animal Control Officer Lonnie Waters, who reported 35 pets were registered from 9 a.m. to noon at city hall, and that 15 appointments have been made for the coming weeks.
“When people are willing to pay $45 for three animals to be registered, you know they care about their pets,” he said.
The city recently passed an updated animal control ordinance that requires pet owners to register their animals, but Waters said the city is only asking that residents participate in the program voluntarily at this time.
“We don’t want to force anyone to do this,” Waters said during registration day. “It’s really for the safety of your pets. I had a guy come through who said it’s like taking out an insurance policy on his animal, and that’s the truth.
“If I pick up your animal and they are registered, I can bring them right back to your door,” he said.
Waters said he has had good response from non-city residents who are interested in registering their animals as well, with people from Gibson Trail, Gordon Road, Bent Tree, Camp Road, West Price Creek and Upper Salem Church Road areas participating in the Saturday event.
“People in the county want to be involved in this too,” Waters said. “And we want people to know that anyone in the county can register their pet, not just people from the city.”
Waters also said registration is not limited to cats and dogs.
“If it’s your pet, we’ll register it,” he said. “I imagine we’ll start seeing all kinds of animals come through.”
Waters said there has been some confusion about the registration program, with some residents mistakenly calling the county animal shelter for information.
“We just want to be clear this is the city and not the county that’s doing this program,” said Waters, who noted that he and Pickens County Animal Control are working closely to help bring pets and owners back together.
Early Monday morning, Waters met with county shelter officials and shared registration information that was gathered Saturday.
“This way if an animal is taken to the shelter this will assist in their identification of that animal,” he said. “We have always worked well with the county, and we want to continue to do that in the future.”
Information about all registered animals, not just those registered Saturday, will be transmitted to the county shelter.
Waters urges pet owners who have not registered their animals to contact him at city hall to set up an appointment.
For dogs or cats, owners are required to show proof of a rabies vaccination for their animal at the time of registration.