The public are being warned to get a dog licence before they are fined €100 as Louth has the highest number of fines paid for not holding a dog licence.
The 2013 dog control statistics highlight figures for a wide range of services.
In 2013, 520 on-spot fines were issued by local wardens.
Of these fines, 302 were paid. There were 68 convictions and 14 were prosecuted.
The local authority issued 5,518 individual dog licence for 2013.
The total licences, including life-long licence, was 5,526.
This figure is an increase from the 2012 figure of 5,234.
853 of these licences were issued online via the Louth County Council website.
Speaking to The Dundalk Democrat, County Veterinary Officer Garrett Shine said that dog owners need to take responsibility.
“The net is tightening on ownership and responsibility,” said Garrett,
“For the population of Louth, the licence number isn’t good enough.
“We are eager to increase the number of licence issues. Effectively, the issuing of licence is the income for our service. There is no central fund.
“This income stays within Louth. There is no excuse for not having a licence. You can buy it online on the council website.”
The cost of a dog licence is €20. The fine for not having one is €100.
Garrett is eager to increase the number of licence and enforcement will be increased.
“The wardens are out and about responding to complaints.
“They target specific areas and do a random check for dog licences.
“It is no different to the TV licence. We have a good compliance rate for the payment of fines.
“But licence level should be much higher.”
The income for the service was €128,241, while expenditure was €160,910 - leaving a deficit of €32,669.
In 2013, 556 dogs were surrender and collected, 149 were re-homed and reclaimed, 340 were transferred to dog welfare groups and 56 were put to sleep.
“We have a great re-homing rate,” said Garrett.
“The welfare groups are great, particularly the LSPCA and the Dog Dog Rescue.
“They do great work and save dogs every week.”
Louth has three full-time dog wardens, three vans and one shelter.