City of Racine-New Effort to Increase Property Maintenance Compliance

The City of Racine Public Health Department, in collaboration with the City of Racine Building Department, introduces a new pilot initiative approved by the City of Racine Common Council, to increase animal license frequency as well as to improve housing / property conditions in the Racine community.

City of Racine representatives donning City of Racine Public Health Department clothing and vests and carrying official identification are visiting neighborhoods using a checklist to conduct outdoor inspections focusing on the identification of homes with unlicensed pets and homes with poor or unsafe conditions including tall grass. The representatives are looking at the condition of the home and property including the roof, gutters, siding, windows, chimney, tall grass, and weeds. They are also making note of the presence of excessive garbage or dog feces.

The representatives provide door hangers, business cards and postcards to communicate concerns about the home with the occupant and to encourage the resolution of the problems. The representatives then record the interactions with the residents in a custom database and refer violations to the proper department.

“This proactive program provides residents with the necessary information to make the proper modifications to their home and property so as to avoid the involvement of our department’s Unit Inspectors which may result in monetary consequences,” said Kenneth Plaski, Chief Building Inspector of the City of Racine Building Department.

Good public health practice requires that all domesticated animals (dogs, cats, ferrets and potbellied pigs) are licensed by five months of age and vaccinated against rabies. Compliance with the rabies vaccination requirement helps bite victims avoid a series of injections and costly animal quarantine fees. Licensing helps identify an animal if a pet is lost and supports animal control services provided by the City of Racine.

According to 2012 U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook, the city of Racine has approximately 41,407 dogs and cats. In 2016, only 4,460 pets were licensed, which means 36,947 pets went unlicensed and possibly also unvaccinated.

“The door-to-door interactions conducted during this educational campaign encourage Racine residents to license their pets and to make improvements to their home and property,” said Dottie Kay Bowersox, Public Health Administrator. “We are looking forward to making connections in the Racine communities that should result in a positive experience with City of Racine departments, programs and services.””

This program will run through the fall. For more information about this program, please call the City of Racine Public Health Department at 262-636-9203.

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