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Supervisors Growl but Raise Basic Fees for Dog Licenses

July 22, 1987

Orange County supervisors reluctantly increased fees for dog licenses Tuesday, raising the basic one-year license from $18 to $20, but one member warned that any future increases must be justified by an increase in service.

"Don't come in again and tell me you are raising fees to keep people employed, because I won't support it," Supervisor Thomas F. Riley said at the regular board meeting.

Instead, Riley said, fee increases should be justified by an improvement in the "level of service."

Leonard M. Liberio, deputy public health director for animal control, agreed with a comment by Supervisor Gaddi H. Vasquez that the county had to be concerned about raising fees so high that "we defeat the purposes of the program," which are to get people to bring their dogs in for vaccinations and to obtain licenses.

Vasquez said he had heard of owners whose dogs were picked up and taken to the county animal shelter several times. Rather than pay increasing fees because the animals had been taken in before, the owners sent friends down to pretend to adopt the pooches, which costs less, Vasquez said.

County Health Care Agency officials said the increased revenue will help the county maintain 16 positions it is otherwise scheduled to lose because of budgetary problems.

The new fees will become effective Oct. 1. The basic one-year dog license will increase from $18 to $20. The fee for late registration will go from $10 to $15.

The fee for licenses of dogs that have been spayed or neutered will increase from $9 to $10. The discounted fee for senior citizens obtaining dog licenses will go up from $5 to $6, and from the current $2.50 to $3 if the dogs are spayed or neutered.

The county program covers dogs owned by residents in unincorporated areas of the county and in the 17 county cities that contract with the county for animal control and animal shelter services.

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