Boyle magistrates may change dog license fee

August 04, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

Some pet lovers told Boyle Fiscal Court Tuesday that doubling the license fee for unfixed dogs would encourage people to spay and neuter their pets.

The state has given the power to license pets to cities and counties. Magistrates are considering a change in the fee for dogs. The money could help fund the Danville-Boyle Humane Society.

In Mercer County, the license fee is $3 for animals who have had the surgery and $5 for those that have not.

Magistrate John Hudson said owners of pets that have had the operation should get a discount on the license fee.

Even Magistrate Phil Sammons seemed to agree. He has cats and dogs that have not had the surgery, and he says he has never bought a license. Sammons said he doesn't want to require people to fix their pets, which can cost $100.


"The ones that are paying now will pay, but those that aren't won't no matter how much you charge," he said.

Sammons isn't the only one not buying a license.

Judge-Executive Tony Wilder said only about 15 percent of the dog owners in the county bought the $1.50 license when it was administered by the state.

Resident Allen Knight said that he didn't want to fix his animals, and didn't think that he ought to.

Dan Turcea, manager of the animal shelter, said that they don't want to force anyone to fix their pets, but they want to encourage people to do so and generate money to help people that can't afford the operation.

"We're not saying get the police and force people to neuter their dog," said Sallie Bright, outreach coordinator with the shelter. "But we put so many innocent animals to sleep It's a crime. Dogs are not pieces of furniture they are living animals."

Turcea said that almost weekly he visits people with nuisance dogs who ask him just to take the animals. "People just don't care about their pets," he said.

No cat licenses

The idea of selling cat licenses was scratched early in the discussion. Turcea said that it would be unenforceable.

Sammons asked Turcea what the county was doing about the thousands of cats multiplying. Turcea said that they use live traps and can put them out behind fast-food dumpsters, but that people would steal the traps.

Out in the county those present agreed that packs of coyotes eat a lot of the stray cats.

There are also packs of stray dogs roaming the county, puppy litters being dropped off on back roads that are eventually euthanized at the animal shelter.

Some questioned whether a dog license fee was enforceable.

"The public sector is guilty of not enforcing it," Wilder said.

Licenses are sold at the veterinarians offices, the animal shelter and the courthouse. It was suggested that licenses be sold at rabies clinics.

The county will spend $140,000 on the animal shelter in this budget year. Part of that money will be used for a shelter expansion.

Central Kentucky News Articles