Vermilion County animal adoption fees may rise

DANVILLE — Vermilion County officials are proposing an increase in adoption fees for dogs and cats at the Vermilion County Animal Shelter.

County board Chairman Gary Weinard said it has been several years since the fees have been increased, and the costs of medication and other expenses have continued to increase. He said this proposal is part of an effort to get the animal shelter closer to breaking even. The county's general fund has had to subsidize the shelter operation for years.

The shelter, which is located on Catlin-Tilton Road west of Tilton, is a county-owned facility that houses animals that are surrendered or picked up by the county's animal control officers, who serve all the unincorporated areas of the county and any municipalities that pay the county to handle their animal control. The county does not serve Danville, which pays the Humane Society of Danville to hire animal control officers that enforce its animal control ordinances, and the humane society, which is a nonprofit organization, operates its own shelter.

Weinard would not release any details of the fee increase proposal for the county animal shelter. He would not disclose the proposed fee increase either but said that it would be a significant increase.

The county board's health and education committee will consider the proposal at 5:15 p.m. Thursday at the regional superintendent's office in Suite B of the county building at 200 S. College St., Danville.

Currently, the shelter's adoption fees are $80 for dogs, puppies, cats and kittens; for senior citizens, the fee is $50. The adoption fee includes spaying or neutering, microchipping, rabies vaccination, rabies tag, distemper vaccination, deworming, a health exam by a local veterinarian and pet food, collar and leash.

Weinard said the Vermilion County Animal Shelter Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports the care of the animals at the shelter, pays a large portion of the spaying and neutering costs, which helps keep the shelter's adoption fees lower.

Weinard said this proposed fee increase strictly deals with trying to address the cost of taking care of the animals in the shelter.

Last year, a committee that included private citizens and representatives of the city of Danville and the Vermilion County Board met for a few months and created a proposal for a combined city-county animal control operation and shelter. The proposal would have required an addition be built to the county's shelter on Catlin-Tilton Road, which would have been an additional cost to the city. The proposal also included an increase in the city's annual costs to hire its own animal control officers compared with the $70,000 a year it is currently paying the humane society to provide animal control for the city.

That proposal has not been moved forward by the city or the county.

Weinard said there's been a lot of discussion over a combined shelter, but he doesn't have any more solid information about that idea than the county had two years ago.

Animal adoption fees

The Vermilion County Animal Shelter may increase its adoption fees. The following shows the shelter's current fees and fees charged at two other area shelters.

Vermilion County Animal Shelter

— $80 for a dog, puppy, cat or kitten (Senior citizens pay $50 fee).

Fees include spaying/neutering, rabies vaccination, rabies tag, distemper vaccination, de-worming, health exam by local veterinarian, microchip, pet food, collar and leash.

Source: Vermilion County Animal Shelter website

Danville Humane Society

— $107.50 for a dog or puppy

— $92.50 for a cat or kitten

Fees include a city tag, microchip, spaying or neutering and rabies deposit for vaccination.

Source: Director Glen Laird

Champaign County Humane Society

— $150 and up for puppies (under 6 months)

— $100 and up for dogs (6 months & older)

— $100 and up for kittens (under 6 months)

— $50 and up for cats (6 months & older)

Fees include spay/neuter surgeries, initial health exam, initial vaccines (excluding rabies), screening and treatment for internal and external parasites, screening for heartworms (dogs) and feline leukemia (cats), microchip and tag and first visit to local veterinarian at participating clinics.

Source: Champaign County Humane Society website

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