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Dog licensing to be handled by Sheriff's Office

Online system could be in the works

DickersonDog licensing will be handled by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office as of July 1.

Columbia County commissioners voted to approve the change Wednesday, June 22, after meeting with Sheriff Jeff Dickerson to discuss the shift in process.

Currently, the Columbia County Clerk’s Office handles dog licensing for residents in unincorporated areas, as well as most of the cities in the county.

Dickerson said his goal is to develop an online system to allow residents to pay for and renew licenses online.

“The purpose of this is to really streamline it and make it ... easier for people to get that done,” Dickerson said by phone last week.

The Sheriff’s Office oversees dog control for the county.

Dickerson said it makes more sense to have licensing and dog control handled by the same department.

“It’s not that anything is going bad or wrong, but we think we can improve the connection between the actual dog control and the actual dog licensing,” Dickerson said. “We believe it would be more efficient to have it under one roof.”

A full-time clerk position will be added to the Sheriff’s Office to oversee the licensing and other administrative duties for the agency.

The change in process would not impact the county clerk’s position, but it could smooth out some kinks in the current process.

“Sometimes there’s just some confusion,” Dickerson said. “When people come for licenses and we don’t get the information in time, then they get cited for not paying the license. ... If there’s questions and we can’t get answers, then all the sudden we’re working against ourselves.”

Betty Huser, the county’s clerk, said often times people like to come to the county courthouse to pay all of their fees in one building.

“They come in and pay their taxes and they license their dogs because they’re snow birds,” Huser said, but noted she has no real concerns about the change in procedure.