The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

August 7, 2013

County's animal fee hike necessary


---- — Members of a Vermilion County Board committee approved a proposal Monday to increase adoption fees at the county-run animal shelter.

No one wants to pay more for anything, but county officials are right in trying to at least cover the costs of caring for these animals. Most of them find themselves in an animal shelter thanks to irresponsible owners who fail to care for them as they should.

The county’s costs for food, utilities at the shelter on Catlin-Tilton Road and veterinarian care for the animals — including spay and neuter procedures — all continue to increase.

The adoption fees — $80 for dogs, puppies, cats and kittens — no longer cover the costs of the shelter’s operations.

The proposed fee increases, which must yet be approved by the full county board, are: $125 for dogs weighing more than 40 pounds; $150 for dogs weighing under 40 pounds; $175 for puppies; $60 for cats older than 1; $85 for kittens; and $80 for senior animals age 8 and older.

The county’s cost of preparing a dog for adoption — including required shots and other care — can range from roughly $105 to $122 per animal. For cats, those care costs range from $86 to $94 per animal.

There’s a fine line here for officials. They do not want to make fees so high no one will want to adopt pets from the shelter. That would only increase the number of animals euthanized.

However, officials must try to recover at least a majority of there costs.

Monday’s proposal seems a reasonable one. The full county board should approve it.