City and Borough of Juneau ordinances require that all dogs over six months old and residing in Juneau for more than 30 days must be registered with Juneau Animal Rescue by Jan. 1 each year. This picture shows the 2022 tag issued to registered dogs. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)

City and Borough of Juneau ordinances require that all dogs over six months old and residing in Juneau for more than 30 days must be registered with Juneau Animal Rescue by Jan. 1 each year. This picture shows the 2022 tag issued to registered dogs. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)

Don’t get tagged: It’s time to register your dog

Local dog registration supports animal welfare

Whether your dog is one of the two breeds newly recognized by the American Kennel Club or more of a classic hound, it’s time to renew the dog’s registration with the City and Borough of Juneau.

Technically, the deadline has passed. But, it’s not too late to make sure Fido is compliant with local regulations.

According to CBJ ordinance, all dogs over 6 months old and residing in Juneau for more than 30 days must be registered with Juneau Animal Rescue each year by Jan. 1. However, officials don’t assess late fees until after March 31.

Karen Wood, director of animal control and protection at Juneau Animal Rescue — the group contracted with CBJ to provide animal control service — said that so far, about 1,500 dogs have been registered since the new registration period started Nov. 1.

This undated photo, provided by the American Kennel Club, shows the Russian Toy breed. The American Kennel Club announced that the Mudi and Russian Toy have received full recognition, and are eligible to compete in the Herding Group and Toy Group, respectively. These additions bring the number of AKC-recognized breeds to 199. (Courtesy photo/American Kennel Club)

This undated photo, provided by the American Kennel Club, shows the Russian Toy breed. The American Kennel Club announced that the Mudi and Russian Toy have received full recognition, and are eligible to compete in the Herding Group and Toy Group, respectively. These additions bring the number of AKC-recognized breeds to 199. (Courtesy photo/American Kennel Club)

“We had a big rush at first, then a big rush at the end of December,” she told the Empire in a phone interview Wednesday morning.

She said the group usually registers 3,500 to 4,000 dogs each year. She said the pandemic repressed registration numbers a little last year.

Wood said dog registration helps reunite pets with owners if a dog gets lost.

“The main benefit is if the dog gets lost and has a tag on, we can contact an owner. Often we can just take the dog home,” Wood said.

She said that if officers find an unlicensed dog, they take it to the shelter until the owner is located and produces a valid rabies vaccination certificate. She said fines and fees also apply when unlicensed dogs are found.

Wood said it costs $20 to register a spayed or neutered dog and $45 to register an unaltered dog until March 31. After April 1, registration costs an additional $15. An unregistered dog who gets impounded is subject to a $95 fine, based on the CBJ ordinance.

“It’s cheaper to get the license,” she said, adding that money collected from licensing efforts help assist other animals in need and fund some operations, like picking up injured animals, dealing with dog bites and helping aggressive animals.

Aurora Hauke, vice president of the board of directors, agreed.

“It’s good to know that when you are following the law and registering your dog, you are helping other animals,” she said in a phone interview with the Empire Wednesday afternoon.

Until 2019, Juneau Animal Rescue was known as the Gastineau Humane Society. They have been promoting local animal welfare since 1963. Over the last few years, the group has expanded its operations, Hauke said.

“We have a groomer on staff. We have doggy daycare and boarding. Food and leads are for sale in the lobby,” she said, adding that merchandise with the rescue’s logo is also available as a fundraiser.

How to Register

Dog owners can register their pups, renew and pay for a dog license, upload proof of rabies vaccine, update contact information, and update spay and neuter information online at https://www.juneauanimalrescue.org/licensing.html or by calling (907) 789-6997.

Looking for a dog?

If you’d like to add a dog to your family, both Wood and Hauke suggest adoption.

“We recommend adoption first through us or agencies around the state,” Wood said. “There are animals in need of homes because people can’t keep them.”

Wood said that shelters in Anchorage will ship dogs to Juneau and that in her experience, shipping is a little easier within Alaska than from other states.

In addition, she said Juneau Animal Rescue receives dogs–including litters of puppies from nearby villages and other shelters from around the state if they fill up.

She said mixed breeds–including lab and husky mixes are common and that purebred dogs are often available for adoption, too.

Hauke said she found her dog through Juneau Animal Rescue.

“I adopted my dog from the shelter. He’s a pure-bred dog. He has 8 years of history we don’t know anything about. But, he is very sweet and cuddly. We are just working on his manners,” Hauke said.

Wood said that the shelter doesn’t have many dogs available for adoption right now. But, said there are animals in the shelter receiving veterinary care and will be available soon.

Hauke and Wood suggest completing adoption paperwork first and then keeping an eye out for available dogs online at https://www.juneauanimalrescue.org/.

“Our paperwork is pretty painless,” Hauke said.

New breeds on the block.

An athletic Hungarian farm dog and a tiny pet of bygone Russian aristocrats are the latest breeds in the American Kennel Club’s purebred lineup.

The club announced Tuesday that it’s recognizing the Russian toy and the mudi. That means they’re eligible to compete for best in show at many U.S. dog shows, including the AKC’s big annual championship and the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club show.

The mudi (pronounced like “moody”) descended from long lines of Hungarian sheepdogs before a museum director took an interest in the breed and gave it a name around 1930. Fans say the medium-size, shaggy dogs are vigorous, versatile and hardworking, able to herd sheep, hunt boars, snag rats and compete in canine sports such as agility and dock diving.

A black Mudi, a Hungarian species of shepherd dogs, helps to drive a herd of 120 buffaloes from its summer pasture to its winter habitat on the premises of the Kiskunsag National Park, Budapest, Hungary, Jan. 25, 2017. The American Kennel Club announced that the Mudi and Russian Toy have received full recognition, and are eligible to compete in the Herding Group and Toy Group, respectively. These additions bring the number of AKC-recognized breeds to 199.(Sandor Ujvari / MTI)

A black Mudi, a Hungarian species of shepherd dogs, helps to drive a herd of 120 buffaloes from its summer pasture to its winter habitat on the premises of the Kiskunsag National Park, Budapest, Hungary, Jan. 25, 2017. The American Kennel Club announced that the Mudi and Russian Toy have received full recognition, and are eligible to compete in the Herding Group and Toy Group, respectively. These additions bring the number of AKC-recognized breeds to 199.(Sandor Ujvari / MTI)

“They’re very perceptive, and they have a subtle quality” and are very trainable, but they need things to do, said Kim Seiter, an Oak Ridge, New Jersey, dog agility trainer who has four of them. “They’re not for the inactive person.”

The dogs — the proper plural is “mudik” — were featured on postage stamps in their homeland in 2004, as were some other Hungarian breeds.

The Russian toy developed from small English terriers that gained the fancy of Russian elites by the early 1700s. The diminutive dogs — supposed to weigh no more than 6.5 pounds (2.7 kg) — have a leggy silhouette, perky expression and lively demeanor, breeders say.

“They’re extremely affectionate” with their owners but can be reserved with strangers and need to meet plenty of new people as pups, says Nona Dietrich of Minnetonka, Minnesota, a breeder and member of the Russian Toy Club of America. “And they’re funny. They have quite an attitude.”

The AKC is the United States’ oldest purebred dog registry. It recognizes 199 breeds, including the two newcomers, and acts as a governing body for many dog shows.

Recognition requirements include having at least 300 dogs of the breed spread around at least 20 states and promulgating a breed standard that specifies ideal features, from temperament to toes. Many popular hybrid or “designer” breeds, such as Labradoodles and puggles, aren’t recognized, but it’s possible they could be someday if breeders decide to pursue it.

Some animal rights and welfare advocates deplore dog breeding and the market for purebreds, saying they spur puppy mills and strand adoptable pets in shelters.

The AKC says breeding can be done responsibly and preserves somewhat predictable characteristics that help people find and commit to the right dog for them.

Juneau’s top dog (names)

Popular Names

According to Wood, dog names in Juneau tend to be gender-specific and often invoke a sense of place. Here are top, local picks:

Females

— Bella

— Luna

— Sadie

Males

— Loki

— Taku

— Kodiak

The local list includes some cross-over with the popular names nationally. According to Rover.com, top names in 2021 include:

Females

— Bella

— Luna

— Lucy

Males

— Max

— Charlie

— Cooper

However, the American Kennel Club does note Loki as a trending name on its website dedicated to dog names.

Contact reporter Dana Zigmund at dana.zigmund@juneauempire.com or 907-308-4891.

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