Pet Licensing Fee Proposed In Montgomery County

Posted at 6:27 PM, Jun 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-24 20:03:01-04

Montgomery County Animal Control has proposed a pet licensing fee to benefit people and pets alike, but not all pet owners are on board.

Timothy Moore and his sons like to visit area parks with their dog, Sade. "She's the new addition to my new house," he said. 

The nearly 6-month-old puppy was adopted at the shelter. The fees Moore paid covered all of her vaccinations, but she could soon cost him a little more if a proposed pet licensing fee is approved.

"Well, it's another dip in their pocket. I understand that," Moore said. 

The license would require all pet owners in Montgomery County to pay $10 per pet per year, $25 if they're not spayed and neutered. 

Moore said its a proposal he would support. "That will show that you have a little responsibility for them too," he said. 

However, not everyone is sold on paying more fees on top of the ones they already owe, especially renters like Ashton.

"The shelters are already overflowing and I feel like that would keep people from wanting to rescue animals, adding more charges each year and not just a onetime fee," she said. 

Montgomery County Animal Control Director Jeanette Farrell said the pros far outweigh the cons.

"If your dog or cat is licensed and they have on their license tag and we pick them up in the field, we're able to look in our data base immediately where your pet lives and we can take them straight home. They'll never step foot in a shelter," she explained. 

The money could be used for a low cost or no cost spay and neuter clinic to be used by the entire county. "It would lower pet population, it would lower euthanasia. There are role model shelters that have done this and they've gotten their euthanasia rates down to 3 percent," Farrell said. 

Licensing would also help pet and public safety. 

“Say for example it’s Friday night at 9 o’clock and your child is bitten by a dog and that dog happens to have a county license, we immediately can see if that dog is current on rabies,” Farrell added.

If the proposal is passed she hopes to implement the program in early 2017.