County pet license can mean life or...


County pet license can mean life or death

From: John W. Ziegenhorn

Chief, Animal Control Services

for Harford County

Many Harford Countians have read or seen the news reports about the recent series of rabid animal attacks in Fallston and Jarrettsville.

What didn't make it into most stories or political cartoons was JTC the number of several unlicensed, stray dogs picked up in the wake of these incidents by animal control wardens.

Many of the dogs were later euthanized by the Harford County Humane Society because they couldn't be adopted and weren't wearing a valid dog license. Several cats picked up during this time also were humanely destroyed.

That little piece of red metal on a dog's collar can mean the difference between happiness and heartache for both an owner and for a victim in a suspected rabies attack.

The requirements for a Harford County dog license include proof of a rabies vaccination. That information coupled with the license number can tell animal control of ficials within minutes who the dog belongs to and the status of their rabies vaccination.

While we have other methods -- including our national-award-winning "Operation Locate" program -- in the county arsenal to combat rabies in Harford, precaution remains the top defender.

Getting a license is an easy way to protect your dog, family, friends and neighbors. Harford County charges $5 annually to register a sterilized dog or $10 for an unsterilized pet. Senior citizens pay $3 and $5 respectfully. A 50-percent surcharge kicks in around the middle of August.

If it's the cost of the rabies vaccination that keeps an owner from getting his/her dog licensed, several discounted rabies vaccination clinics, sponsored by the Harford County Health Department and Humane Society, are held throughout the year. Contact them for more information.

And, while the licensing law only applies to dogs, we recommend cat owners put an identification label on their felines' collars.

For more information on dog licensing, contact Harford CountyLicensing Clerk, Jean Rice at 638-3305.

For a copy of the county's animal control rules and regulations, contact me at 638-3505.

Praise for paramedics after Bel Air accident

From: Barbara S. Dettbarn

Bel Air

On July 13, my 7-year-old son had an accident on his bicycle. When I found him, he was face down and unconscious, approximately 35 feet from the ramp he had built. His bicycle had gone up the ramp and come down handlebars first on the sidewalk. Mark was thrown over the handlebars landing head and face first on the cement.

I am writing this letter and the details in it for several reasons.

First, I would like to thank the three paramedics who arrived after I called 911. They were professional, competent and caring. They put Mark in a neck and head brace and taped him to a stretcher. He was taken by ambulance to an open area in our neighborhood and transported by helicopter to Johns Hopkins Children's Trauma Center, where he spent the night and next day under observation before being released. He suffered a concussion, head trauma and facial injuries.

I would like to thank those paramedics who arrived quickly and took care of my child and our friends and neighbors who helped and called to express their concern. (A special thank you to Norm Yingling, who drove me to the hospital.)

I am also writing to urge parents and guardians to consider purchasing bicycle helmets for their children. My son was wearing a helmet, and I believe it saved his life.

Task force suggestions

From: Elizabeth R. Dean

Supervisor of Education

Harford County Public Schools

Bel Air

Upon returning from vacation, I had the opportunity to read the article, "School board plans to desegregate special needs pupils," [The Harford County Sun, July 19], bySherrie Ruhl.

As supervisor of Special Education, I worked closely with the Special Education Long-Range Task Force that developed the long-range plan. I chaired the subcommittee on integration and was also responsible for coordinating all of the subcommittee's reports into a document representing the task force's recommendations of 10 goals and the steps toward making them a reality.

The statements attributed to John M. Mead and Rosemary K. Johnson were certainly accurate and valid points. The writer's apparent interpretation of their comments, however, was inaccurate.

My purpose, therefore, in writing is to clarify the task force's recommendations. The reporter's concluding paragraph would have more accurately described the task force's recommendation had it stated, "By 1997 the special education plan envisions all schools having the capability of providing Intensity I through Intensity V special education services. The option of receiving Intensity V services in regional or countywide special classes or special school will continue to be available."

This last point is of critical importance and was unfortunately lost the interpretation.

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