Anyone wishing to adopt a pet from the local animal shelter will soon be required to have the animal spayed or neutered before taking it home.
The fiscal court voted Tuesday night to establish the new policy at the request of the Green River Animal Welfare League.
The court originally heard the request last month but tabled any decision until local veterinarians could be polled to see what they would charge for spay and neutering services. Three veterinarians responded and magistrates were given their offers without the name of the animal clinic being identified.
Magistrates vote to tentatively accept an offer that included $62 to spay or $45 to neuter a dog and $45 to spay or $25 to neuter a cat.
The court discussed a request to discount its current adoption fee but noted that the county is already contributing money to operate the shelter.
The adoption fees are currently $50 for dogs and $30 for cats. That fee will be added to the spay and neuter fees, which means a female dog will cost $112 to adopt, a male dog will cost $95, a female cat will cost $75 and a male cat will cost $55 to adopt.
The county will now finalize an agreement with the veterinarian and County Judge Executive Ann Melton said the new policy would take place sometime after Oct. 15.
Shelter manager Sandy Ford voiced concern that adoptions numbers would drop if fees exceeded $100.
In August, the animal shelter took in 95 animals, adopted seven, sent 12 to rescues, and euthanized 77. In July, the shelter took in 129 cats and dogs. Nine were adopted and 11 rescued, with 122 being euthanized.
By Sharon Burton