RUMFORD — Dog licenses for 2013 are available, Town Manager Carlo Puiia reminded residents at Thursday night’s board meeting.

He said the state requires any dog 6 months or older to be registered.

Licenses are due and cost $6 for any dog that is spayed or neutered; $11 if they are not. By Feb. 1, the state will mandate a $25 late fee per dog, he said.

“So, if you have a chance to get in, get your dog registered in the month of January,” Puiia said.

In other dog-related news, Puiia read Animal Control Officer Sue Milligan’s Dec. 7 report that canine parvovirus continues to spread locally.

The outbreak started in September 2011 in the Rumford and Mexico area. Puiia said several dogs in the downtown area have now contracted the “highly contagious” virus that attacks the intestines and bone marrow of dogs. The affected area includes Waldo, Cumberland and Falmouth streets and Maine and Rumford avenues.

Milligan said the virus “primarily affects puppies and senior or sick dogs.” However, Milligan said the majority of cases she’s dealt with have been apparently healthy adult dogs.

Puiia said canine parvovirus is spread through the feces of an infected dog. He urged dog owners who walk their pets around town to clean up after them.

“Be a responsible dog owner,” he said.

A dog can spread the virus without showing signs of illness, and canine parvovirus can live on the ground for several months to years, so any animals or people walking through the area can rapidly spread the virus, Puiia said.

He said he has a friend who lives in Rumford’s Virginia neighborhood and has a puppy that’s been infected.

“So, it’s very easily contracted and we can bring it in on our shoes into your house, too, so be very careful where you walk and also be very conscious when you happen to be in those areas,” Puiia said of Waldo, Cumberland and Falmouth streets and Maine and Rumford avenues.

“It’s a big concern for dog owners,” he said.

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