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Reciprocate the loyalty: License your dog

Adding the love of a puppy or dog to your family can bring lots of smiles, happiness and lasting memories. That's why the town of Manlius encourages all dog owners to come forward and license their dog, not just because licensing falls under New York state law, but also because it's an important tool in bringing their companion home if he or she gets loose or lost.

"Quite often people don't know they need to license their dogs," said Manlius Town Clerk Allison Edsall. "They get a dog and they're not aware that that's what they should do. [But] if we have [the information] in the database, you have just increased your chances that we will be able to look [your] dog up and return it to [you]."

Currently, just over 2,100 dogs are licensed in the town of Manlius. There's another 6,700 to go, though, according to a state formula used to determine the approximate number of dogs still unlicensed in the area.

"They're required by state law, any dogs over four months old need to be licensed," said Dog Control Officer Bill Pulaski. "They'll be given a tag with a New York state license number, so if the dog gets loose and it's anywhere in New York state, they can research the owner's information by that license number."

The law requires the license tag to be on the dog's collar at all times, he added.

Pulaski, who has worked for the town of DeWitt for more than a decade, signed on full time with the town of Manlius just over a year ago.

"The dog has to be licensed in order for the family to get it back," Pulaski said. "Once we seize a dog, the only way [the family] can get it back is to have it licensed and up to date on its rabies shots."

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