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Council OK’s changes to dog license fees

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The Town Council approved an update to the dog ordinance on March 19 after discovering Braintree was not in compliance with state law. The state had changed its licensing requirements in August 2012, which Town Clerk Joseph Powers discovered only recently. As dog licenses are renewed in April, Powers requested that the ordinance be changed as soon as possible. The changes included revising the dog license fee structure from a flat rate of $10 per dog to one that is based on the reproductive ability of the dog: Licenses for spayed or neutered dogs remain at $10, but increase for “intact” dogs to $15. There is no charge for service animals, and substitute tags cost $5. While councilors had wanted to roll back the $50 late fee for dog licenses, believing the penalty too stiff, town officials said it would be necessary to keep it at that amount to be in line with the state statute. Owners must license their dogs between April 1 and June 28. Though there was some discussion of extending the deadline, councilors eventually decided that the period was long enough. “I’m a dog owner, and when you have from April till the end of June . . . that’s a long period of time,” said council president Chuck Kokoros.

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