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Humane Society likely to raise fees

April 17, 2004|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY - If you're thinking about adopting an animal or using other Humane Society services, you may be paying more for it by mid-summer.

Paul Miller, executive director of the Humane Society of Washington County, said the organization has proposed raising fees and creating others to make up for rising operating costs, including sheltering more animals.

The new fees, if approved, would go into effect July 1.

The Humane Society's board of directors and the Washington County Commissioners would have to approve the fee proposals, Miller said.

The fee to adopt a dog would increase from $90 to $100; the new charge to adopt a cat would go from $70 to $75, Miller said.

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A $50 reptile adoption fee also would be created.

Miller said the Humane Society is seeing an increase in the number of iguanas either dropped off or picked up as strays, prompting the fee.

Animal owners who request that their animals be picked up at home by the Humane Society would pay $20, rather than the $10 that currently is charged.

The cost to have an animal euthanized at the shelter would increase from $25 to $50, and an owner whose animal is impounded would pay $25, up from the $10 that currently is charged, according to information provided by the Humane Society.

If an animal requires emergency service from the Humane Society, such as picking up an animal that has been killed by a car, owners would pay $75 per incident, which is a new fee, Miller said.

The cost of quarantining animals with rabies would increase from $10 per day to $20 per day, and a $25 per animal fee would be created to test for rabies.

The charge for asking the Humane Society to dispose of an animal also would increase. Those charges are based on the size of the animal, Miller said.

The fee proposals would generate about $164,150 for the organization, according to a Humane Society report.

On Tuesday, the Humane Society asked the Washington County Commissioners for more than $780,000 in addition to what it already receives from the county. They asked that a portion of the money be paid this fiscal year and the remaining amount be put toward fiscal year 2005.

The Humane Society received $510,620 for the current fiscal year from the county.

It asked for $1.3 million for the coming fiscal year, but the county has proposed giving it $769,746.

The Humane Society handled 7,804 animals in fiscal year 2003. It anticipates it will handle 9,216 animals in fiscal year 2004, which ends June 30.

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