Recent figures indicate that 252 dogs were impounded in Waterford dog pound at Bilberry near Waterford city.
Among those, 151 had to be put to sleep while 34 were reclaimed and 60 were sent to new homes.
Dog warden Ollie Walsh said, by law, every dog requires a licence, at a cost of €12.70 per year at any post office.
Anyone unable to produce a licence for their dog when requested to do so faces an on-the-spot fine of €30.
“We’re taking this proactive approach because of the large numbers of unlicensed dogs in the county and indeed throughout Ireland as a whole,” said Mr Walsh.
Under the law, any dog aged more than four months must be licensed every year. Dog owners also have an obligation to ensure that their dog is identifiable.
“It is compulsory for all dogs to have a collar with a disc, badge or name tag, which gives the owner’s name and address.”
Dogs must also be under effective control while in public areas and are not allowed on the county’s main beaches between 11am and 7pm during June, July and August. The beaches involved are Tramore, Clonea, Dunmore East, Woodstown, Bonmahon, and Ardmore.
According to Mr Walsh, the Control of Dogs Regulations of 1998 impose additional restrictions on certain breeds of dog such as the pit bull terrier, doberman pinscher, german shepherd, and japanese akita.
“These dogs must be kept on a short, strong lead by a person over 16 years of age capable of controlling them, and must be muzzled whenever they are in a public place. The breeds mentioned are just a sample of the full list. Anyone in any doubt should check with the council for clarification or look on the council’s website, www.waterfordcoco.ie under the environment section.”
The restrictions also apply to crosses or strains of these breeds and breaches of the legislation can result in fines of up to €1,270.