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Register your pet or expect to receive a citation

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Animal Services is issuing more than twice the number of citations to local animal owners. Animal Services is issuing more than twice the number of citations to local animal owners.

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – More than 60,000 animals call New Hanover County home and thousands of pet owners choose not to register them with the county, despite the requirement to do so. If you're one of those people, consider this your warning: choosing not to register your pet isn't going to fly anymore.

There was a period of time when animal owners were slipping through the cracks in regards to registering or re-registering their dog, cat or ferrets. The prior administration heading up the animal control services did not have a solid process in place to keep up with animals that needed to renew registration.

Now that the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office has taken over it's a whole different ball game.

Before the sheriff's office took over, animal services went month after month choosing not to issue citations to people who didn't register their animals. After some time went by, animal owners started receiving citations from nearly half a year ago.

"To go month after month of no citations being issued is unacceptable," said Sgt. Jerry Brewer with the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office. "Once the sheriff's office stepped in at animal control and made it animal services unit we saw this irregularity and made sure it was corrected."

Now, animal services is issuing more than twice the number of citations to local animal owners. 

Not registering your pet can pose health risks because the county can't keep track with which animals are up to date on their rabies vaccinations. The registration also helps officials keep an eye on the domestic animal population in the area.

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