RICHMOND (WRIC)—Richmond residents have as many as 60,000 cats and dogs, but it's tough to say, because most pet owners haven't registered them.
That's not only illegal, it decreases funding that Richmond Animal Care & Control gets to catch and care for stray animals and maintain its shelter.
Animal Care & Control is trying to fix this problem by getting every dog and cat owner to get a registration pamphlet. It only costs $10 to register a pet for a whole year.
But the problem is a lot of animal lovers don't do it, and they don't even know they have to.
Devin Grubbs and his cat, Houdini, are breaking the law, and they don't even know it.
"All I was really told is that I should get shots for her," Grubbs said. "I didn't really hear anything about registration or anything."
Just like Grubbs, tens of thousands of cat and dog owners are keeping unregistered pets.
Chuck Marchand, the acting director of Richmond Animal Care & Control, says the lack of registration is something he wants to fix.
"It is the law, and we are going to be enforcing it," he said.
Registration is proof to the city that little Kitty or Fido has had his or her rabies shot and is spayed or neutered. You'll also get a tag.
"We can look this up in our database, and we'll get in touch with you immediately to let you know that your pet is here," Marchand said. "We obviously want to get it home as quickly as possible."
The money keeps services like Animal Care & Control operational. Marchand says it helps the strays.
"It's going to make it easier for us for those genuine strays that don't have owners for us to work with those pets and to get them adopted out into new homes," he said.
Grubbs says now that he knows about the law, Houdini will soon have a tag.
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