Fees for Phelps County residents who want to use the Rolla Animal Shelter to dispose of unwanted animals will more than double if the Rolla City Council approves an ordinance recommended by Police Chief Mark Kearse.
“Staff recommends raising the fee for county residents from $20 per animal to $45 per animal or $65 for a mother and a litter,” Kearse wrote in the agenda commentary accompanying the proposed ordinance that is up for first reading tonight.
A new state law is part of the reason for the increase, he said.
“We must provide rabies vaccinations to every adoptable animal, per new state regulation,” he said. Also, the current $20 fee “barely covers a day or two of expenses at the shelter and no revenues are received from the county.”
The fee for city taxpayers to relinquish unwanted animals would continue at $10 per animal.
The proposed ordinance includes two other changes.
The current ordinance states the city offers private cremations. Kearse said the incinerator is not set up to separate animal bodies and it costs too much for the propane to run the incinerator for a single animal for such a small fee.
Kearse and the staff propose that private cremations be left up to the local veterinarians who offer that service. The city will provide incinerator services for $20 to dispose of a dead pet, but these will be communal incinerations.
An increase in adoption fees to $35 per animal is also recommended. “These fees have been the same for many years,” Kearse wrote. “The increase is recommended to cover the cost of rabies vaccinations (new state requirement) and to offset rising food and medical costs.”