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In July, the Prescott Valley Town Council approved changes to penalties and fines relating to animal codes, licensing fees and outsourcing the management of dog licensing. These changes will go into effect on Saturday, July 28, 2018.
Animal Control staff compared Prescott Valley Town Code with other towns and cities in the surrounding area and in larger municipalities. They found that some ordinances require change to assign fair and accurate licensing fees and penalties for animal control violations. The current laws for dog at large and barking dogs are criminal misdemeanor charges. The new regulations move the penalties for a first offense to a civil violation. If an owner repeats the violation within a 12-month period, they could be subject to a criminal violation for the repeat offense. Other animal offenses, such as animal cruelty, in which the first violation would be criminal, would carry a stiffer penalty for a second offense within a 12-month period. Additionally, review showed the Town of Prescott Valley penalties for violations are slightly lower than neighboring towns and cities. The recommendation is for those penalties to be the same as surrounding areas.
Animal Control also has reviewed fees for dog licenses. The Town will continue to offer 1-Year, 2-Year, and 3-Year dog licenses, while proposing an increase in altered dog licenses by $2 per license year. Fees for unaltered dogs already are close to the average cost for the area, so the rise in cost will only be $1 per license year. Late fee penalty will be $10. The Town will no longer offer replacement or transfer licenses. Current Prescott Valley licenses expire annually on December 31, no matter when they are purchased. New regulations will cause the licenses to expire within 1, 2 or 3 years from date of purchase, depending on the license duration purchased and the expiration of rabies vaccinations.
The changes in dog license fees will coincide with outsourcing the management of the town’s dog licenses. Prescott Valley Animal Control still will oversee the licensing of dogs. However, an outside company, PetData, will issue the dog licenses, reminders to re-license, late fees and more. Dog owners will be able to obtain their dog licenses by mail, phone or online. The increase in the dog license fees will help offset the cost of the licensing company’s services. The overall plan is to provide comparative fines and penalties for the Town of Prescott Valley and to provide better management to licensing the community’s dogs.
Prescott Valley residents who have lost a pet, or who need assistance dealing with barking dogs or other animal issues can now find more help on the Town’s website. The lost pet page at http://pvaz.net/881/Lost-Pet offers a link to notify Animal Control that your pet is missing, and links to several other local missing pet sites that you can post on. The page also contains a list of actions you can take to help find your missing dog or cat. An additional link gives information on how to license your dog, a requirement in Prescott Valley that can help officers or someone who finds your dog return it home.
The updated Nuisance Animal/Barking Dog page at http://pvaz.net/860/Nuisance-Animal-Barking-Dog contains suggestions on dealing with nuisance barking dogs in your neighborhood, including a link to Animal Control’s Nuisance Barking Hotline and an online Barking Dog Notification form. The hotline provides citizens with a 24/7 messaging system to report nuisance animal problems or concerns during Animal Control Officer (ACO) off-duty hours. The online Barking Dog Notification form provides residents with a convenient way to notify Animal Control of a barking dog issue. Animal Control officers regularly check the hotline and the online notification when they return to work and respond to any messages left during their off hours.
Find information on dog license prices and requirements at http://www.pvaz.net/323/Licensing-Your-Pet. This information will be updated by Saturday, July 28 with the new fee schedule.
For Animal Control information or concerns, please call 928-772-5190. Prescott Valley Police Department can be contacted at (928) 772-9267 for non-emergencies, 911 for emergencies, or Silent Witness at 1-800-932-3232.