KITTREDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – A man from Jefferson County man has been found guilty of missing court dates for failing to have a dog license.
Matthew Townsend of Kittredge was taken into custody when sheriff’s deputies learned he had missed two court dates for the dog license citation. He had been given two warnings.
In unincorporated Jefferson County all dogs must have a license.
Townsend was arrested when deputies arrived at his home on an unrelated case and discovered an outstanding warrant for the dog license. His wife was also ticketed. Her trial is still pending.
A judge found Townsend guilty and ordered him to pay a $50 fine and $26 in court costs. Townsend says he won’t pay even if it means going to jail again.
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“He’s a service animal for my autistic daughter,” Townsend explained. “So I didn’t feel it was necessary to pay fees; it’s a waste of my time and theirs.”
Townsend said when he was arrested the first time he spent seven hours in jail for not having a dog license.
Jacki Kelley, a spokesperson for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office explained, “If they like to roll the dice and ignore the summons issued by animal control, their name is run it will show a warrant and they can be arrested.”
Only 28 percent of dog owners bother to license their dog in all of Jefferson County.
The county says the animal licenses are needed to fund the new $10 million Foothills Animal Shelter. The license is a little star or circle that the dog is supposed to wear and help get it returned if lost.
By CBS4’s figures, Jefferson County and other governments are missing out on a lot money for non-compliance on dog licenses. Jefferson County misses more than $2.5 million a year in uncollected license fees. Denver has 19 percent of its dog owners and 1 percent of its cat owners with licenses, missing out on nearly $3.5 million in money it could collect. In Aurora under 9 percent of dogs and only 1 percent of cats are licensed, missing out on $2.5 million in revenue.
In Jefferson County it’s $30 to license a dog, $15 if neutered.