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Wal-Mart opens branch for dog licenses

February 10, 1997

By LISA GRAYBEAL

Staff Writer, Waynesboro

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Dog owners in Franklin County have one less excuse for not getting their canines licensed.

Starting this morning, Wal-Mart at 1730 Lincoln Way East, is opening a dog licensing office for Franklin County customers that will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Chambersburg Wal-Mart is the first one in the state to sell dog licenses, said Franklin County Treasurer Steve Minnich, whose office is responsible for issuing dog licenses.

"I'm excited about it," Minnich said. "This is a way we're going to get more people in," he said.

Wal-Mart staff will issue the licenses and then report to Minnich, who will take care of the paperwork, he said.

"It's really just an arm - a branch - of the treasurer's office," Minnich said.

If the program is successful in Franklin County, the retail giant may provide dog licensing services to customers in stores throughout the state, he said.

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"It's designed to aid the public as far as having accessibility," said Rick Burd, administrative officer for the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement in Harrisburg, Pa.

Shoppers may also be reminded to purchase their dog licenses if they see the sign in the store, Burd added.

Though it's the law to have dogs licensed after three months of ownership, Minnich said he estimates only one-third to one-half of all dogs in the state are licensed.

Only 50 percent of the dogs in Franklin County are licensed, he estimated.

One of the reasons for low compliance is because most people find it difficult to come into the treasurer's office, which is only open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Minnich said.

"I understand that folks are busy today," he said. "We wanted to do something about it. We wanted to be pro-active."

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