GAULEY BRIDGE — In an attempt to streamline efforts to control its dog population, the Town of Gauley Bridge is making an effort to enact requirements of an ordinance that’s been on the books for decades.

Article 1, Section 6-40 A-D calls for owners of all dogs to pay a town tax on the animals. The ordinance begins: “Every person owning or harboring or keeping a dog above the age of 6 months within the town shall pay an annual town tax of $1 for each male and spayed female and $2 for each unspayed female.”

“It’s an old ordinance,” Pam Boles, the town’s office manager, said Monday. “We’ve not ever really enforced it.”

Residents of the town may pay the tax at Town Hall by July 1, Boles said. In exchange, the dog’s owner will receive a numbered tag which should be placed on the dog’s collar. There is no form to fill out. Your name, matched with the number on the dog’s tag, will be kept on a master list so that, should the dog get loose and be picked up, it will be a simple effort to locate its owner.

“At least if your dog gets out and somebody finds it, we can at least find out who it belongs to,” Boles said, “so it’s a good thing in that way.”

Gauley Bridge residents also are reminded that the town operates under a leash law, “Article 1, Section 6-3 Running at large,” that is based upon the county leash law adopted in 1996. That law is amended and based upon the state’s leash law found in West Virginia Code, Chapter 19, Article 20, Section 6.

To read the county leash law, visit

Residents may visit Town Hall Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call 304-632-2505.

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