Clark County has raised the price of a dog license for the first time in 10 years.
One year dog licenses will now cost $22 in the county beginning on Dec. 1 — up $2 from previous years. The last time the county increased the price of a dog license was in 2009, when the license fee went up from $16 to $20.
Fees for a one-year dog license range across the state from $18 to $35, depending on the county and certain conditions.
Clark County Administrator Jennifer Hutchinson said the rise in price is due to the fact that the shelter has seen a steady increase in strays since the county took over the shelter in 2017.
More on the Clark County Dog Shelter: Clark County Dog Shelter helps family reunite with pet after 4 years
“We have seen a significant increase in the number of stray dogs we take in,” Hutchinson said. “We definitely felt that there was a need to increase the rate in order to provide the level of service that is humane, but also what our residents expect of us.”
The price increase is expected to generate around $40,000, Hutchinson said, which will go directly to the Clark County Dog Shelter.
Clark County Dog Warden Chief Sandra Click said funds will go towards the everyday costs for the dogs, like for food.
“The public has been good to us. They have treated us well with fundraisers, with the food they contribute, which proves to us that this isn’t just lip service. They really want us to step this up a bit,” Click said.
Click said the shelter did hire, “a little bit more staff,” this year, which is when the shelter came to the county to begin talking about a license fee increase.
The shelter had seven staff members in total in 2018. The number rose to nine in 2019 with one employee becoming full time and two more employees being brought on to work part time.
“That’s when we realized we needed the additional personnel and the additional fee,” Hutchinson said. “This is just what we have to do to handle the increase.”
Click said this time last year the shelter had taken in 728 dogs. This year the shelter has already taken in 878 dogs. She said she believes the county is seeing the increase because there aren’t many options for people to, “release the dogs they can no longer care for.”
More on the Clark County Dog Shelter:Clark County Dog Shelter sees uptick in dogs served, adoptions
By this, Click means shelters where residents can legally drop off or abandon dogs fill up quickly, leaving residents to simply let dogs loose outside.
“A lot of shelters are full and if we started taking in owned animals, we couldn’t do this,” Click said.
Click said that is another reason why getting your dog licensed is so important.
“Besides the fact that it’s the law, all of that money comes right back to support the shelter,” Click said. “All of this wouldn’t happen if we didn’t have the funding we do through dog licenses that pay for these services.”
Dog licenses will go on sale for 2020 beginning on Dec. 1 and can be purchased at the Auditor’s Office, which is currently located in the Bushnell Building on the third floor, as construction is ongoing at the A.B. Graham Building. Licenses can also be purchased at the Clark County Dog Shelter located at 5201 Urbana Rd. in Springfield.
To find more locations where a dog license can be purchased, visit the Auditor’s website at clarkcountyauditor.org and click on the “2020 Dog License” tab.
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