The number of U.S. households that own a dog is up to 40 million while households that own cats total almost 35 million. Currently, dog households have an average of 1.7 dogs while cat households own an average of 2.1 cats. This brings the total number of pets in the nation to 68 million dogs and 73 million cats.
Whether you’re a pet owner or the neighbor of a pet owner, there are many officials and agencies to help both animals and people where animals are concerned. While many of the laws pertaining to pets are the same in Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park, there are some differences depending on where you live. For instance, all dogs 4 months and older must be inoculated against rabies and have a county or city dog license. All cats 4 months and older must have a rabies inoculation; in Manassas Park, cats 4 months and older are also required to be licensed. All jurisdictions require the licensing of dogs 4 months and older and Manassas has set new limits on the number of pets permitted per household.
The fee for a license in Manassas is $5 each for spayed or neutered dogs and $10 each for others. Manassas Park charges $5 for spayed or neutered dogs and cats and $10 for intact (sexed) animals. Prince William County has an across-the-board fee of $5 for all dogs.
There are limits on the number of pets permitted per household unless a kennel license is obtained, which requires zoning approval from the county which normally allows up to four dogs. Three dogs or four cats or a combination of four is the limit in Manassas Park.
Manassas has a limit of four dogs or four cats or a combination not to exceed four. Manassas residents who had more than the allotted number of cats before these new restrictions went into effect April 2002 should call Manassas Animal Control (703) 257-8009. If owners of more than four can show they owned the cats and had rabies certificates on all of them they may qualify to keep the animals under a “grandfather” clause, said Senior Animal Control Officer Joan Strawderman. However, they will not be permitted to replace any till the total number is reduced to four, Strawderman said.
All three jurisdictions have leash laws in effect and require owners to clean up after their pets.
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
Calls concerning stray animals, injured animals, dog bites and cases of alleged cruelty should be addressed to Prince William County Animal Control, a division of the County Police Department. Master Detective Samson Newsome, a 23-year veteran of the Prince William County Police Department, is administrator. He also oversees the Prince William County Animal Shelter. Calls about animals should be directed to Prince William County Animal Control at (703) 792-6465 or (703) 792-6500 (county police dispatcher). Injured animals and bite cases are given priority and dogs-in-custody have priority over dogs-at-large.
License tags may be purchased at the County Animal Shelter, the McCoart Administration Center, the Ferlazzo Government Office or Sudley North Government Office as well as select veterinary hospitals and neighborhood libraries.
To report a lost animal and file a report, residents may call the county shelter at (703) 792-6465 but are urged to visit the facility and look at the animals for themselves as animal descriptions differ from person to person. The shelter is at Independent Hill on Dumfries Road adjacent to the county landfill.
Dog license tags may be purchased at Manassas City Hall or through Animal Control. A valid rabies certificate is required. Call Animal Control at (703) 257-8009. To report stray animals, injured animals, cruelty, bite cases or wild animals, call the City Police at (703) 257-8000.
License tags, for all dogs and cats 4 months and older, may be purchased at the City of Manassas Park Treasurer’s Office, where there is also a night drop. Call Animal Control Officer Dorothy Wadel at (703) 361-1136. As a convenience to its residents, Manassas Park offers a three-year license providing the rabies certificate is good till November of the third year. Stray and unwanted animals from Manassas and Manassas Park are temporarily being housed at the County Animal Shelter. Call (703) 792-6465.
All citizens are urged to outfit their pets with identification in an attempt to cut down on lost pets.
The following agencies also offer pet adoption:
? PAL offers pets for adoption at PETsMART in Woodbridge all day Saturday. Call (703) 221-8937 (evenings).
? NVAL offers pets for adoption at PETsMART in Manassas. Call (703) 361-9230 or (540) 659-5018.