Submitted by the San Juan Auditor’s office
The dog licensing season was kicked off in grand fashion at the courthouse the last week of November when the first dog tag of 2020 was issued to a special “celebrity” canine. Mia, an 8-year-old Standard Poodle, escorted by her owner Barbara Wright, received tag No. 1 at the auditor’s office. Dog licenses are now available for all local canines at a variety of San Juan County locations.
Mia is involved in the “PADs (Parkinson’s Alert Dogs) for Parkinson’s” program. Mia and her canine colleagues at the PADs center are trained to sniff out the distinct scent of a person afflicted with Parkinson’s disease. The scent can potentially be detected several years before the devastating symptoms begin to take effect with these patients.
Each day at the fairgrounds, the PADs dogs are practicing these skills, sniffing T-shirts worn overnight by local volunteers. This program has the potential to provide a medical miracle for Parkinson’s patients through early detection.
All dogs in San Juan County are required to be licensed annually. Current fees are $15 for dogs that are spayed or neutered and $40 for “natural” canines. A late fee of $10 applies to licenses purchased after March 31 of 2020. Add a photo of your dog for an additional $5, which will display on the county website if the dog’s license number is looked up. This additional measure of security adds priceless peace of mind if a dog is lost.
Dog licensing fees fund both the licensing program and an account that compensates residents for livestock killed or injured by stray dangerous dogs. The balance of collected fees is distributed to the local Animal Protection Societies for impound services.
If you live on San Juan Island, get your tag at the auditor’s office, Friday Harbor Animal Protection Society or Harbor Veterinary Services. Orcas Island residents can get a tag at Pawki’s pet store, Eastsound Kennels or the Orcas Island Animal Protection Society. Lopez dogs can visit Sunset Building Supply, the Lopez Animal Protection Society or Ark Veterinary Clinic.