By Rick Armon
Beacon Journal staff writer
POSTED: 10:08 p.m. EST, Nov 17, 2008
Summit County might nearly double the price of dog licenses and boost fees for other services to help pay for operations at its animal shelter.
An annual license could jump from $8 to $14, under legislation introduced today before the County Council.
''It's not a large increase,'' County Executive Russ Pry said.
Other fees also would go up, including kennel licenses from $40 to $50 and euthanasia services for most animals from $10 to $50.
The cost to adopt a cat would increase from $57 to $60, but the cost to adopt a dog would remain at $90.
County officials said they would like the fees to pay for shelter operations instead of services being subsidized by taxpayers.
The county examined fees elsewhere in Ohio before recommending the increases.
Right now, dog licenses are a bargain in Summit. Cuyahoga County charges $16. Wayne charges $14, and the cost in Medina and Stark is $12. Portage charges $10 now, but the cost will rise to $12 on Dec. 1.
The proposed fees will go before the County Council's Rules Committee on Monday.
Councilman John Schmidt, who chairs the committee, said the increase doesn't appear to be an unfair burden on dog owners.
The county has issued 42,234 dog licenses and 856 kennel licenses so far this year, raising $362,567.
All dogs are required to be licensed, but officials said they know that not every animal is. They added that the number of licenses usually dips after a fee increase as people avoid paying it.
The proposed fees also are unrelated to plans for a new animal shelter, county officials said. Earlier this year, the county announced plans to transform a 26,000-square-foot warehouse on Opportunity Parkway in Akron into a new shelter. The current facility is on North Street in the city.
Officials have been looking for a new site since a 2004 National Animal Control Association audit found numerous problems at the current facility.
Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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