The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

August 22, 2013

Don't increase shelter fees

The Commercial-News

---- — Don’t raise animal adoption fees

At a way to go, Vermilion County Board finance committee!

Your proposal to raise adoption fees in some cases more than 100 percent and in most cases at least 75 percent is wrong.

I realize there needs to be an increase in fees. However, to raise fees upwards of 100 percent is atrocious. Inasmuch as there has been no increase in adoption fees since 2007, there should be a reasonable increase forthcoming. Rather than hand-wringing and raising the adoption fee, alternatives should be initiated and diligently pursued. Thoughts and problem resolving should be addressed where the problem might exist. Maybe a hard look at the management level should be the order of the day. It’s been six years with no increase to alleviate the financial burden. That inaction has been part of the problem and/or the cause of the problem.

There are alternatives to killing so many of God’s living creatures at the Vermilion County Animal Shelter each year. Hundreds of cats, kittens, puppies and dogs are killed at the facility. Raising the fees to $150 and as much as $175 will certainly have its effect on the number of adoptions in the future.

Human nature is for families and children to have pets. What happens when these fees raise outrageously? People will seek out puppy mills and “Free to good home” signs will abound. Also getting these animals will result in the non-spaying or neutering of the animals. As a result, the increased number of animals that will find its way to the animal shelter. Again, the number of animals that will be senselessly put to death will inevitably increase.

There are alternatives, however. Raising funds to offset these operational costs are available. There are grants from humane elements in the United States willing and ready to assist – such as the American Humane Society, Humane Society of the United States, Animal Care and Control Association, Pet Smart, North Shore Animal League and many others.

It will not happen unless one makes it happen. And it won’t happen until one works at making it happen. It requires initiative and individuals as well as governmental agencies working together. If it is to happen, one sees there are creative alternatives rather than the continued needless slaughter of helpless creatures.

So what will it be, county board members — raise the fees for the adoption rate, kill more animals or try alternative to resolving a community problem?

County board members, you decide when you go to vote for this ridiculous increase on adoption fees at the Vermilion County Animal Shelter. Carry this burden as you vote for the increases proposed.

Kenneth C. Nixon resides in Danville.