K-9 units given special dog tags

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – The Belmont County Auditor’s Office will give all K-9 units in Belmont County dog licenses. The dog licenses are good for three years.

This year, all the K-9 units will receive tags that they don’t have to renew for three years. This is something the state has required counties to do in the past and most of the counties have not been doing it, so now Belmont County is trying to get the ball rolling so that the K-9 units are taken care of at no cost to the K-9 officer or community.

According to Belmont County Auditor Andy Sutak, it is a special type of tag so that if the dog ever gets out, anyone who sees it will know that it is a special tag dog. All tags will have a number seven on it since Belmont County is the seventh county.

“I am glad we have these K-9 units. I think they’re an excellent source of patrolling for our communities. We are blessed to have these gentlemen and the departments that have these dogs and take care of them – what they do for us and protect us,” said Sutak. “They are a blessing to our communities, and in our small communities, we have officers that are willing to dedicate themselves. It’s a great thing for us, and the citizens should know that they are there to protect them.”

The first to receive his licenses was Deputy Ervin Fulst and Luke from the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office.

“Obviously, it is appreciative that the auditors office does that for us, and he does work for the county,” said Fulst.

The other K-9 units will receive their licenses in the mail. The other K-9 units in Belmont County are Patrolman Chad Kuhn and Ecko from Martins Ferry, Officer Keven Yates and Santos from Bridgeport, Officer Rusty Cunningham and Marcus from Bellaire and Officer Mike Troullos and Beau from St. Clairsville.

“I am glad they donated the tags to us instead of the city paying for them,” said St. Clairsville Police Chief Jeff Henry. “We are grateful because every little bit helps.”

Sutak also wanted to remind people that anyone who wants to buy dog tags, please come to the courthouse to pick them up instead of going to the animal shelter. The animal shelter has had some water problems in the last few weeks. Sutak also stated that anyone who purchased their dog licenses from Jan. 1 to Jan. 8, please check with his office if you have not yet received your tag, because some of that might have been destroyed by the water.

For more information on dog licenses, please call (740) 699-2131.