Stanislaus County considers upping animal service fees

Animal owners in Stanislaus County could find themselves paying more for services if the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors approves a new fee structure Tuesday night.

A study of eight counties concluded that the Stanislaus fees are 25 percent to 50 percent below the average. Under the proposal, the fee to reclaim an impounded dog or cat would rise from $35 to $45; and the fee for an owner surrendering an animal to the shelter would rise from $25 to $30.

Adoption fees for a dog would rise from $75 to $90 under the proposal. The annual dog license fee for an unaltered dog would rise from $100 to $150. Altered dog licenses are $12. Cat adoption fees would remain at $45. Cats are not required to be licensed.

A two-tiered fee schedule would be instituted for the county's spay-neuter voucher program, called Stanislaus County Alternative to Euthanasia. The program provides vaccinations, a microchip and vouchers for a spay or neuter at participating area veterinarian clinics.

The $50 SCATE fee would rise to $72 for low- income residents and $140 for other residents. Eligibility for the low-income voucher would be determined by a Medi-Cal card, a Food Stamps card, a PG&E CARE utility bill, or a telephone bill with a low-income designation.

The new fees are expected to generate an additional $320,984 to $534,708 in revenue each year. The existing fees generated $575,940 in fiscal year 2006-2007.