The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

September 18, 2008

Pet license fees raised

CAMANCHE — The Camanche City Council voted to raise the annual fee for licensing pets and require a late registration fee of $10 during the regular council meeting on Tuesday night.

City Administrator Tom Roth said the city currently charges pet owners $1 for neutered or spayed pets and $3 for non-neutered or spayed pets. He said a suggestion had been received to increase pet licensing fees. City Clerk Sheryl Jindrich said the fees are set by ordinance, noting the council would have to change the ordinance prior to December, because license fees are due Jan. 1.

Council member Ron Wehde said raising the fee from $1 to $5 would be a 500 percent increase in the fee. Council member Trevor Willis questioned whether the increase would cover the cost of the licensing program. Jindrich said the major cost of the program is not from licensing, but staff time involved in the process. Mayor Jim Robertson remarked that the city has kept the fee minimal in an effort to encourage pet owners to register their animals. City Attorney Tom Lonergan suggested the fee remain low, but the city make the penalty for not registering pets stiffer.

Public Works Director Dave Rickertsen said pet owners currently only get penalized if an animal is picked up for running at-large. He said there is a $25 at-large fee and a $25 fine for violating the city ordinance. He said that before a pet can be returned to its owner, the owner must pay the $50 and properly license or vaccinate their pet. Jindrich pointed out there is no penalty for late licensing currently. Council member Linda Kramer suggested the city consider establishing a penalty for late registration. Jindrich said she would encourage the council to apply a penalty to incur after March 31. Roth said the late registration fee would not be a punishment, but designed as an incentive to license pets within the appropriate timeframe.

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