Is your dog adorable? Middle Township is seeking a charming Top Dog 2018 to represent Middle Township on its Animal Advisory Board web page, be featured on various flyers and displays throughout the year, and to remind residents to license their dog in January. The 2018 Top Dog will be awarded a 2018 license and a “fetching” basket of canine treats. Eligible dogs must live in Middle Township, be altered and have a current rabies vaccination and license.

Residents can nominate their dogs by emailing their photograph to Dawn Stimmel: dstimmel@middletownship.com by Dec. 15, 2017. Submissions should include the dog’s name along with the owner’s name, address and phone number. Please submit one photo per dog.

Entries will be posted on the Middle Township Animal Advisory Board’s web page. http://middletownship.com/animal-advisory-board/ The Top Dog will be selected by Mayor Michael Clark and announced on December 18, 2017 and join the exclusive club of Flash, Brealey and Mr. Darcy. The 2018 Top Dog caregivers will be awarded the one year license and goodie basket at a Committee Meeting in January 2018.

A license tells the world that here is a cherished dog who is protected from rabies. It is a ticket home for a lost dog and spares the dog from another vaccination, if s/he happens to be sheltered.

Middle Township residents can purchase a one or three year license. For a spayed/neutered dog the one year fee is $8.20; the three year fee is $24.60. For unaltered dogs, the one year license fee is $11.20; the three year fee is $33.60. Rabies vaccinations must be current until November of the licensing year. Download a license application from the first page of the township web site. Mail the application with a check for the appropriate fee to the address on the application or bring it to the second floor of City Hall.

Middle Township hosts three rabies clinics each year with the first in January. Licenses are available at the clinics. The State of New Jersey estimates that between 2,000 to 3,000 dogs reside in Middle Township. Take a few moments to protect your beloved dog and comply with the law by obtaining a license.

License fees provide free rabies vaccinations at community clinics, contribute to a State spay/neuter program, assist in creating emergency and disaster programs and defray the cost of animal control. The additional fee for unaltered animals assessed by the State returns to our community in the form of reduced spay/neuter procedures at participating veterinary hospitals for eligible residents four times a year. Since the program’s inception in 1984, the number of animals euthanized at shelters has been significantly reduced. In 2016 alone, this program contributed to a reduction of 67,226 animals euthanized.

http://www.nj.gov/health/vph/2017_yearly_summary_dogs_cats.pdf

In 2016, animal control received over 1,300 calls. More than 700 dogs were reported loose, lost or found. Sadly, a few of those calls reported deadly accidents. Don’t let your pet become a statistic. Take a few moments to check your dog’s collar and harness for proper fit. Examine fences and latches on gates and doors. Plan a location in your home to keep your pet safe from getting loose when visitors are expected, during storms or holidays. Teach children to close doors.

The Middle Township Animal Advisory Board is updating township Code for animals and exploring ideas to reduce barking and increase clean up after pets. Volunteers are always welcome to assist at clinics, events and Board initiatives. Residents can share their ideas by leaving a comment on the Board’s web page at www.middletownship.com or by emailing Dawn Stimmel at dstimmel@middletownship.com.