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      Push for dog licensing in Syracuse

      Syracuse Dog Control picks up an average 80 strays a month in the city. Most of them are unlicensed, and some months NONE is licensed.

      There are 12-thousand 'active' registrations on file with the Syracuse City Clerk's office, and Martha Maywalt, from Neighborhood and Business Development says they believe that's only a small percentage of the number of dogs in the city.

      Maywalt has just implemented a new, on-line program for dog license renewals. Until now, they had to be done in person at the City Clerk's office, or mailed in. Besides making it easier, the expectation is the new program will also create more awareness that dogs need to be licensed.

      Syracuse does have the licensing requirements on its website, and Syracuse Parks is working on more outreach to get more dog owners signed up.

      Deputy Parks Commissioner John Walsh points out that strays are taken to DeWitt Animal Hospital, and if there's no proof of shots, they're given a rabies shot. For an owner to retrieve the pet, he says, is more costly (shot plus board) than the licensing fee--$10 for spayed or neutered animals, $20 for unspayed or un-neutered.

      The bottom line for Syracuse is also 'the bottom line,' and more licenses would also be more money in the city treasury."It helps the city financially," says Maywalt, but it's also a way to get your dog back, if it should stray.