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MARILYN HAGERTY: English Pointer named Salem is dog No. 1

Salem is a black and white English pointer, and whether she knows it or not she is Dog No. 1 in Grand Forks for the coming year. That's because her owner Earl Morrill was first to buy a 2015 dog license at City Hall. And of course, her rabies vac...

Marilyn Hagerty

Salem is a black and white English pointer, and whether she knows it or not she is Dog No. 1 in Grand Forks for the coming year.

That's because her owner Earl Morrill was first to buy a 2015 dog license at City Hall. And of course, her rabies vaccination is up to date. That's required.

Licensing of pets is a good idea. It may prevent chances of being impounded if the pet goes astray. It may help in finding a pet that is lost.

And besides, it's the law. There's a city ordinance that requires dogs and cats in Grand Forks to be licensed. And the licensing requires a rabies certificate to help keep the community safe.

Licenses are $5 and available in the finance department on first floor of City Hall. They have been available since Dec. 2 and will be delinquent after March 1, 2015. Although owners don't need to bring their dogs, they must furnish a spayed or neutered certification. Without the certification, the fee is $17.

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While Salem is the first dog licensed for the new year, there's a cat named Voldemort who has the distinction of wearing the No. 1 license for cats in 2015. Voldemort is a short-haired, gray male cat that belongs to Michael Michelson. Cat No. 2 is Hedwig, a gray and white male cat that also belongs to Michelson.

My own dog, a black and white dachshund named Dot.Com is sporting a new license for 2015. She is Dog No. 208 in the city register. And she seems quite proud of the new tag attached to the chain on her neck.

All kinds of breeds and all sorts of names show up at the dog licensing center. Mikey Angelo is a black and white shih tzu wearing license No. 115 for 2015. The owner is Valerie Ames. Then there is Shelby, a black Lhasa-dachshund mix. This dog answers to Don and Cheryl Wadholm.

Phoebe is the name chosen for a Chihuahua/pug that belongs to Sarah Hurst and wears license 61 for the coming year. Buddy is a black and white Australian cattle dog licensed by Mary Elizabeth Lizakowski. Buddy is Dog No. 44 for the year ahead.

Princess Diana, a tan and silver Yorkshire terrier, is wearing license tag 86 for the coming year. And she belongs to Lori Jenson.

One of the city crew who helps keep track of dog and cat licenses is Rebecca J. Johnson. She enjoys the dog and cat routine because she has a golden-doodle, 7 years old. The dog license for next year is 239.

Johnson says her family loves Sophie because the dog is so mellow. "She is scared of Hugo's bags but will lie alongside a running lawn mower."

Everyone in the family loves to cuddle up beside the dog and feel the warmth of its curly fur coat.

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The dog Salem, with the No. 1 license for 2015, is not fond of the cold weather, according to the owner. She's a white dog with black markings and has had enough training to know common commands. And there aren't many of her English pointer brand around.

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