ROYAL OAK, Mich. -

Dog owners in Royal Oak on Monday could get a knock on their door from an animal control officer.

Today, as promised, a dog census begins in the city.

They're looking for dog owners whose pets are not licensed and have not had a rabies shots.

If you're caught, you will have to pay a $20 penalty and have 14 days to get a license.

After that time, you could be issued a ticket that carries a fine of up to $500.

Dogs over six months old are required to be licensed, and proof of rabies vaccination is needed to obtain that license.

City officials say they're doing the dog census to protect the community.

There are an estimated 23,000 dogs in Royal Oak, but only 3,500 have licenses.

Unlicensed dogs are responsible for  half of all dog bites in Royal Oak.

Plus they say making sure all dogs are licensed will help them find the owners of lost dogs faster.