Study will examine fees at animal shelter
The answer to the old musical question, "How much is that doggie in the window?" may be "more than before," come 2014.
The Franklin County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution late last month authorizing a study to look into the fee structure at the Department of Animal Care and Control.
Department officials requested the review through the county's Office of Management and Budget, said Scott Varner of the Office of Public Affairs for the commissioners.
"The Franklin County dog-license fees and shelter fees have not been reviewed for several years," Animal Care and Control Director Joe Rock said in a statement. "License and adoption fees were adjusted eight years ago in 2005. Boarding and impounding fees have not changed in the past 10 years.
"However, our costs to house, feed and care for all the dogs we impound each year continue to go up," he said. "That's why we have asked the Department of Management and Budget to do a cost analysis for us. Given our budgetary strains, this is the right time to evaluate these fees."
"It's been roughly eight years since we raised anything," Community Relations Director Susan M. Smith said in an interview.
The study will look at all fees for the department's various services, including adoption fees, impound charges, daily boarding costs and dog licensing, she said.
The analysis is to be concluded sometime in June, Smith said. Recommendations would be made to the board of commissioners at that time, followed by public hearings, she said.
"They're just kind of in the early stages of the process," she said.
If the fees are to be increased, the earliest the new charges could take effect under the Ohio Revised Code is 2014, she added.
The current adoption fee for a neutered or spayed dog is $117, which includes $12 for surgery, microchip implanting, collar and leash.
The fees for reclaiming an impounded dog are $18 for unaltered dogs, $6 for those that have been spayed or neutered.
The boarding fee for unaltered animals is $4.50 a day; it's $1.50 daily for altered dogs.
Dog licenses purchased within 30 days of obtaining the pet are $24 for unaltered animals, $12 for those that have been altered. After that time period, the cost goes up to $48 and $24, respectively.