ANIMAL LICENSE FEE HIKE PROPOSED

April 17, 2001 11:00 pm
Trig Garayalde and Diane Pace discuss animal control. ().
Trig Garayalde and Diane Pace discuss animal control. ().

GOLD BEACH The Paws and Claws Committee, an ad-hoc group of citizens working on funding solutions for the Curry County Animal Shelter, recommended a new fee schedule to the county commissioners Monday.

The group advised raising license fees to $13 for dogs that had been spayed or neutered, and to $35 for unaltered dogs. Adoption fees would rise to $50.

Owner release fees would remain at $25. Return to owner and impound fees would remain at $30 for the first offense, $60 for the second, and $120 for subsequent offenses. The group also recommended that care and feeding fees remain at $7.50 a day.

The group, made up of Animal Control Supervisor Trig Garayalde and Gold Beach residents Diane Pace, Walt and Elaine Edwards, and Gloria Rodgers, had more ideas on how to raise revenue.

The first was to increase licensing compliance. The group estimated that 50-75 percent of dogs in Curry County are not currently licensed.

Three strategies were suggested to produce a 5 percent increase in licensing and adoption.

Those included community outreach vaccination and licensing clinics, a credit card payment system and licensing reminders by mail, e-mail and fax.

Pace said the group wants to work with the South Coast Humane Society to make the shelter operate more like a humane society.

She said they want to make every animal adoptable so the shelter can have a no kill policy.

She said Curry County has high rates of animal, child and spouse abuse, and that they are all tied together.

The groups second idea was to increase donations. They estimated that 25-50 percent of people in Curry County are supportive, willing and able to make small or large donations to the shelter.

To reach those potential donors, the group suggested a dog walkathon organized neighborhood by neighborhood.

Other ideas included a $100 a plate wine tasting limited by invitation to known supporters, and the sale of bumper stickers that would read Every Puppy and Kitten Wanted and Cared For!

The group has also worked with Garayalde to trim 10 percent from his projected budget.

Combined with the fee increases and increased licensing and adoption, the shelter would need only $13,603 from the countys general fund, compared with $41,192 for the current fiscal year.

Pace said more computer numbers are needed to make accurate projections. She said Garayalde and Shelter Attendant Fred Souza are both taking computer classes now.

Pace and her husband are also helping Garayalde with the shelters Petware software program. The group will also work with County Budget Officer Geoff Buchheim on fiscal matters.

Pace said that former commissioner Lloyd Olds had said $15,000 had been put in a special account for the shelter, and only $2,000 of that had been spent so far.

Rodgers said she was told that $13,000 to $15,000 came in the same day that former shelter attendant Al Pierson was given a raise, then arrested on assault charges.

Pace said if that money was still available, it would take care of the shelters budget deficit and cash carry-over.

When Buchheim joined the meeting, however, he said no deposit of that amount was recorded for the shelter that day. He said the shelter hadnt received that much in donations all year.

Garayalde said, I made all the deposits and I can tell you that donations trickled in but at no time did we receive $13,000.

Commissioner Marlyn Schafer called it more wishful thinking.