An increase in fees charged by the county's animalcontrol service was approved Wednesday by the Davis County Commission. The revenue is needed to handle the county's growing animal control workload, the commission was told.
Animal Control Director De Anne G. Hess said no fee increase has been requested in four years, since the county's new shelter above Fruit Heights was built.In that time, Hess said, the number of complaints received and animals handled has tripled. To meet the growing workload, a revenue increase based on higher fees was included in the department's 1989 budget, she said.
The county handles animal control responsibilities for most of the cities.
The most significant change is in adoption fees, Hess said. The shelter has charged a $45 adoption fee, she said, for fertile animals. But $40 of that went to a veterinarian for spaying or neutering the animal, she said, and the county received only $5.
The adoption fee will increase and the county's share will go up to $10 under the new fee schedule.
The shelter will also begin charging a relinquishment fee for individual animals and litters that are brought in, Hess said, charging $3 per animal or $5 for a litter of puppies or kittens.
Hess said she does not think charging that fee will encourage people to abandon the animals, a question raised by her staff and the commissioners. Responsible owners will continue to bring in unwanted animals and litters and pay the fee, Hess said.
Irresponsible owners will continue to do what they have done in the past, which usually is to abandon the animals out by the Great Salt Lake or in some other rural area, Hess said.
The county will also raise its euthanasia fee from $3 to $5 per animal and from $5 to $8 per litter to cover the higher cost of the drugs used, Hess said. She said the fee is still far below that charged by veterinarians. But, she said, the county is not trying to compete with local veterinarians.
The impound fee for small animals - dogs and cats - will increase from $15 to $20, Hess said, and the daily board fee will go from $3 to $5.
The impound fee for large livestock, such as horses and cows, will go from $25 to $30 per day and the fee for small livestock, such as goats, will be increased from $15 to $30 daily.
It costs the county just as much to round up and board a goat as a horse or cow, Hess said, so the fees should be the same. The same equipment, manpower and corral space is required for small or large livestock, she said.