Kathie Johnson: Clearing up how to adopt a pet

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— To the Editor:

The city of Craig has an ordinance in place requiring all pets adopted from the shelter be spayed or neutered within 30 days of adoption.

The city of Craig requires this so as to not contribute to the overpopulation problem that exists in Craig.

There seems to be some confusion as to the costs of adoption from the Craig Animal Shelter and how that money is used.

Adoption fees are as follows:

Cats: $90

This fee is to pay for the cat to be tested for feline leukemia (which is fatal and contagious), vaccinations including rabies and a spay or neuter surgery.

Dogs: $95

This fee pay for the vaccinations and a spay or neuter surgery.

This cost is the lowest possible cost to provide the above services for shelter animals and the costs were set by the animal hospital where the shelter is located.

The city of Craig is not collecting any money on adoptions, except a $2 city license fee for dogs. A city license is required for all dogs residing within the city limits of Craig. The $2 license fee is not part of the adoption fee.

The cost to have the above services done on your pet not adopted from the shelter will usually be a great deal higher, even double this, depending on if it's a dog or cat and the size of the animal. This cost is a good bargain.

The Humane Society raises money through fundraisers and donations to pay for the costs of transferring animals to other shelters when they are not adopted from our shelter.

The city of Craig and Moffat County are charged a daily fee per animal that is in the shelter. Due to budgeting, we are allowed a 10-day limit to find the owner or a new adopter. When that 10-day limit is getting close, the Humane Society looks for other shelters to take our animals in order to avoid having to put them to sleep.

The other shelters require them to be spayed or neutered and vaccinated. Some require health tests, also.

These costs are paid by the Humane Society.

The real cost is the irresponsibility of pet owners who refuse to spay or neuter their pets and allow them to roam and breed. The products of this irresponsibility usually end up at the animal shelter and face a real possibility of euthanasia due to a lack of space and resources.

There are some grants that are available for assisting citizens in the costs of spaying and neutering of their private pets, but they cannot be used for shelter animals. Therefore, we cannot give away or reduce the costs of adoptions.

When thinking about adopting a pet from the animal shelter a potential adopter needs to consider the costs beyond the adoption fee. That includes feeding, equipment (leashes, collars, fence, dog houses, etc.), vaccinations and medical care and emergencies. Whether you adopt or obtain your pet from a private party, this is part of pet owner responsibility and one must be able to provide this.

Thank you,

Kathie Johnson

Craig Police Department

Animal Control

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