|A word of warning to all my friends who own pets in Heber City;
I have been living in Heber City for 3 years now and as most of you know, I had 2 dogs when I arrived from Georgia and adopted one 6 months ago that was sick. For nearly every medical need that would arise, I have carried them to Arcadia Vet on Hwy 40. This is also where they obtained their yearly vaccinations and tags.
Today while taking my 10 year old dogs for their morning walk, I was stopped by the animal control officer, 100 yards from the front door of my office. This is the same officer who lives two blocks from my office and has seen me walking my dogs literally hundreds of times. Many times walking right past his home.
The officer informed me there was a leash law in Heber City (I did not know that, but completely understand), asked if they were all vaccinated (yes) and he wanted to know where the dog’s “Heber City Dog License” was? HUH? I told him I had no idea what that was. He told me that all dogs must have a “Heber City Dog License” and he wrote me a citation (no warning) for all three dogs $46.00 ea x 3 = $138.00.
I immediately called Arcadia Vet and asked them why I was never told me about this requirement? They said they never tell people because they aren’t required to do so and also the fact that 80% of the animals in Heber don’t have a city license anyway. What? How would anyone, like me, have knowledge of this ordinance until they are stopped like I was this morning?
I am a 51 year old man who has owned dogs my entire life. I moved here from Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia where that is not a requirement; you are issued a FANNIN COUNTY tag only. It is not a requirement in the city of Atlanta, GA; you are issued a FULTON COUNTY tag only. It is not a requirement in the city of Roswell, GA where my business offices were; you are issued a FULTON COUNTY tag only.
It would have NEVER occurred to me to license my dogs with the city considering I have never had to do this before. You would THINK that the city would partner with the local vets to either help the city get the word out to pet owners or have the vets issue the tags themselves when you get your yearly shots. I am left with only one conclusion; this is a stealth law the City of Heber hopes to trap pet owners in to increase their city revenue stream.
I have already called the Justice Court to speak with Judge Randy Birch to ask that this be a warning. The woman I spoke to, Diann, agreed that not many people know about the requirement to have the tag and they were considering putting a notice in with the water bills. Well, how is that effective if the person is a tenant? So, let this be your warning before you too, end up with a $46.00 ticket.
BY BILL SAKS