By CRISTINA JANNEY
The city of Hays recently released the top dog names and dog breeds for 2022.
Some dog names may be spelled differently, but below are the top 10 dog names listed in the city of Hays registration database.
The city had 1,600 registered pet tags last year. That includes both dogs and cats.
The city also released the top 10 dog breeds for 2022.
1. Mixed breed
3. Shih Tzu
6. Australian shepherd
7. Golden retriever
All dogs and cats living in the city of Hays are required to have 2023 city tags by March 1. These tags must be renewed every year.
Nikki Hausler, Hays community service officer, said pet tags help officers quickly reunite pets with their owners.
"When we pick up an animal that has a city pet tag on, we call our dispatch and say we have this number and we can call the owner right away," Hausler said. "We have 24-hour access to the database.
"Instead of driving it all the way out to the shelter and the owner calling five minutes later saying they're missing it, this way we can just take it home."
Hausler said rabies tags will not help officers reunite the pet with its owners during evenings or on weekends when vet clinics are closed.
"[A pet tag] is going to save you impound fees. It's going to save you trips out to the shelter to pick up the animal," she said.
Hausler encouraged pet owners to call the police department as soon as they realize their pet is missing.
"It's not like in the movies. We're about getting them home, safely," she said.
If you do have a pet that ends up at the shelter, you have to pay the impound fee at the police department first and then take that receipt to the shelter to claim the pet, Hausler said.
Pet licenses can be purchased for $5 at the city clerk's office, 1507 Main, if the pet is neutered or spayed. The fee is $25 if the pet is not.
The city has a dangerous dog ordinance. Dangerous dogs, which includes pit bulls or dogs deemed dangerous by the court, need to show proof of microchipping and owners need to provide a photo of the dog. There is an additional fee of $50 for a dangerous dog.
In order to register a pet, you will need to have documentation from a veterinarian showing the rabies expiration date and if the pet is neutered or spayed.
Pets that have been in your possession and are not licensed by March 1 will incur a late fee of $10 for each month or part of a month after March 1, with a late fee not to exceed $50 for each pet.
Winter pet tips
Hausler also offered several tips for caring for pets during winter. If a dog can't be brought inside during cold weather, Hausler suggested an insulated dog house and a heated water bowl or replacing frozen water at least three or four times per day.
Don't put blankets in dog houses or cat shelters; they tend to draw moisture and can freeze. Hay or straw is preferred.
Just as in hot weather, don't leave a pet in a vehicle during cold weather.
"A car is like a refrigerator, and it's going to get awful cold if you are inside a department store or the mall for any length of time," Hausler said.
Hays Post reporters Becky Kiser and James Bell contributed to this story.