Owners face big fee hike to retrieve their lost pets
Apr 07, 2012 (The Fayetteville Observer - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Pet owners in Cumberland County may have to pay more to retrieve their lost pets if they end up at the Animal Control shelter.
The county's policy committee has approved a hike in fees for animals picked up from the shelter. Current fees are $7 per day. The new fees would be $30 the first day and $10 for each additional day.
Animal Control Director John Lauby told the committee it costs the county between $15 and $20 per day to keep an animal at the shelter.
"We're just trying to increase the fees enough to where we can get close to that," Lauby said.
Each undocumented animal that arrives at the shelter must be vaccinated and dewormed, and the staff has to fill out paperwork for the agency's records system.
"It takes a lot more work for that initial day," Lauby told the committee.
The new fees won't take effect until they are approved by the Board of Commissioners, perhaps later this month.
The policy committee rejected a proposal to increase the privilege license fee from $7 to $10 for animals that are spayed or neutered, and from $25 to $30 for unaltered animals. Those annual fees are required for every dog and cat in the county.
New computer software is enabling Animal Control to trace pets that have been vaccinated for rabies but not registered with the tax department. Lauby has estimated that only about 10 percent of household pets in the county are registered.
Lauby said the crackdown has added expenses to the agency for keeping track of the licenses and enforcement.
But the committee decided to hold off on any changes to the license fee until the new system is running for at least a few months.
"I was looking for actually hoping we could have a reduction" in the license fee, Commissioner Jimmy Keefe said, "only because we'll have many more documented pets at that time."
Staff writer Gregory Phillips can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 486-3596.
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