Who is Chicago's top dog?
No, the answer is not Mayor Emanuel. At least not in this case.
The City Clerk's office is presenting a "Dog of Distinction" contest, and residents can vote for one of five canine finalists through May 20 at chicityclerk.com.
The finalists were selected at random among all dogs registered in the city. But only one dog will get the title. The winning dog and its owner will get a custom-designed dog tag valued at $2,000, a TV ad appearance, a weekend stay at the Palmer House Hilton, a photo shoot at Urban Out Sitters and a feature in Chicagoland Tails magazine.
The five dogs are:
-Coco, a Chorkie mix
-Lump, a German Shepherd
-Margaret, an Affenpinscher
-Trina, a German Shepherd
-Wilma, a chocolate Labrador
The contest was created this spring to encourage dog owners to register their pets. So far this year, dog registration is up 122 percent.
Currently, the city has almost 38,000 dogs registered, compared to nearly 17,000 this time last year, according to a news release from the City Clerk's Office.
"And while it is great to register more dogs, we will now turn our attention to working closely with Animal Care and Control in enforcing registration requirements," said City Clerk Susana Mendoza in the release. "It's not just a matter of owners complying with the law, it's a matter of public health as we verify that all registered dogs also received their rabies vaccination."
Dog owners need to beware. Fines range from $30 to $200. It costs $5 to register neutered or spayed dogs and $50 for unsterilized dogs. Residents can register the dogs online or at any City Clerk office location.