By Sean Rice
County residents will pay larger fees for dog control services after the first of the year.
Mercer County Commissioners voted to increase the fees Tuesday after a cost-of-service study showed the current dog fees are not fully supporting the program.
Dog control fees were increased at the start of 2003, when a study then showed the program is being subsidized with the county general fund. Ohio law states a cost analysis must be performed before raising dog control fees, and, the fees cannot be used to generate funds beyond what is needed for the dog services.
The proposed fee schedule changes are:
´ Adoption fee -- from $16 to $22 ´ Euthanasia per dog -- stays at $20
´ Receive licensed dog at pound -- no charge
´ Receive unlicensed dog at pound -- from $18 to $22 (includes dog tag)
´ Receive litter under three months -- from $15 to $18
´ To have a licensed dog picked up -- from $10 to $14
´ To have an unlicensed dog picked up -- from $28 to $36 (includes dog tag)
´ Shelter fee first day -- $12, $5 each additional day (no change)
´ Receive dog from non-county resident -- from $48 to $55.
According to Commissioner Clerk Kim Everman's cost-of-service study, county dog warden Tom Powell seized or impounded 465 dogs in 2003. The number of dogs adopted in 2003 was 260 and 65 were claimed by owners. A total of 139 dogs were euthanized., with only five being paid for by the dog's owners.