‘Me and My Pal’

Twelve-year-old Conor Mallonn of Gahanna is the winner of this year’s “Me and My Pal” drawing contest. His drawing will be visible wherever dog licenses are sold in Franklin County in 2016.

A portrait of a Gahanna sixth-grader and his black Labrador, Petey, will greet Franklin County pet owners when they renew their dog licenses for 2016.

Conor Mallonn, 12, has won this year’s “Me and My Pal” drawing contest.

The Gahanna Middle School East student will have his drawing displayed everywhere in Franklin County where dog licenses are sold for the next year.

The annual art contest by the Franklin County Auditor’s Office invites all county students from kindergarten through sixth grade to draw a picture of themselves and a dog for the contest.

Conor’s drawing features his 3-year-old dog, Petey, who was adopted by the Mallonn family from a shelter in Marysville.

He was honored for his work during a Dec. 5 awards ceremony at the Franklin County Dog Shelter, 4340 Tamarack Blvd.

“It’s really cool,” Conor said. “I’ve always wanted to be an artist. I really do like drawing.”

Conor is the son of Penn and Kim Mallonn.

“We’re really excited for him,” Kim Mallonn said. “He has always loved to draw. This is the first contest he has entered.”

Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo said the quality of artwork in the contest has improved every year.

“Conor’s family and the people of Gahanna can take great pride in seeing this winning drawing throughout the county for the next year,” he said.

Franklin County dog licenses for 2016 are available at a reduced cost before Monday, Feb. 1.

“Dog owners in this county need to continue to display responsible pet ownership,” Mingo said. “We annually license about 105,000 dogs a year.”

Dogs three months of age or older must be licensed. The fee to license a dog for one year that has been spayed or neutered or is less than nine months old is $18. Fees will double as of Feb. 1.

A three-year license is $54, and a lifetime license fee is $180.

About 10,000 dogs each year are taken to the Franklin County Dog Shelter. About 90 percent of those strays don’t have any sort of identification and are forced to stay until claimed, according to the auditor’s office.

The five most common breeds of dogs in Franklin County are Labradors, Chihuahuas, golden retrievers; beagles and shih tzus.

The five most common names are Bella, Max, Lucy, Daisy and Buddy.

Dogs most commonly are licensed in Grove City (6,910), Hilliard (5,788) and Westerville (5,541).

Ohio residents are required to purchase a license for any dog they acquire throughout the year.

Dogs more than three months of age must have a rabies vaccination before being licensed.

The license fees collected go into a fund referred to as the Dog and Kennel Fund. It’s specifically designed to cover the cost of operating the dog shelter, as well as for animal-control to pick up stray dogs.

For more information and a complete list of places to purchase a dog license, go online to franklincountyauditor.com or call 614-525-3260.

Special thanks to MARLA K. KUHLMAN and Rocky Fork Enterprize