Vermilion sends hike in animal adoption fee back for more work

Vermilion sends hike in animal adoption fee back for more work

DANVILLE - A proposal to increase adoption fees at the Vermilion County Animal Shelter was not voted on by the Vermilion County Board on Tuesday night and instead was sent back to the committee level to be reworked.

The proposed fee increase was approved by two county board committees prior to Tuesday night's county board meeting. But a few members of the public spoke out against the proposal, including one former animal shelter director, Jerry Hawker, and one former interim director of the shelter, Ken Nixon.

Both told county board members that they believe the proposed increases in the fees were too high and would result in a decrease in animal adoptions at the county-owned shelter on Catlin-Tilton Road. Nixon said the county should focus more on increasing adoptions, which would generate more revenue within the current fee structure and mean fewer animals that are euthanized.

The shelter's current adoption fee is $80 for dogs, cats, puppies and kittens, and that fee includes spaying/neutering, rabies vaccination, rabies tag, distemper vaccination, deworming, health exam by local veterinarian, microchip, pet food, collar and leash. For senior citizens adopting an animal, the fee is $50. The fees have not been increased since 2006, according to county officials, but the cost of vaccinations, food, sterilizations and medications have continued to increase, and the current fee structure does not cover the shelter's costs.

The proposal would have increased the adoption fee for dogs over 40 pounds to $125, dogs under 40 pounds to $150, puppies (under 6 months old) to $175, and cats under 1 year old to $85. The adoption fee for cats older than 1 year would have decreased to $60. Senior citizens over 65 years old who want to adopt an animal would get a $40 discount, and any adoptable animals over 8 years old, the adoption fee would remain at $80.

The county board did not discuss the proposed fee increases, and instead, immediately made a motion to table the item and send it back to committee to be re-worked, and that motion passed by voice vote.

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