WASHINGTON COUNTY (KFSM) -- Washington County has raised the fee for sheltering animals at the Lester C. Howich Animal Shelter in Fayetteville.
This time last year the fee was $85 and it has now gone up to $150 dollars. If you go to reclaim your pet, you will pay $150 or the city the animal came from will be billed for that amount.
“I think it’s an ill-considered move that is going to make it ever more difficult for people to redeem their animals,” Marcia Donley said.
Donley is part of the Northwest Arkansas community cat project and said this will likely mean more pets will end up at rescues.
“$85 is what it used to be was bad enough. It’s unlikely that people are going to pay $150 plus ten dollars a day to get their little doggie back,” she said.
Farmington Mayor Ernie Penn said each year the county sends the cities a contract for their sheltering services and the newest one went into effect on May 8. He said this is pretty large increase.
“That would probably detrimental to some folks who are on limited income or maybe lower income," he said. "So, if their animal happened to be sent to the shelter that could create a financial hardship for them to pick up their animal.”
Penn said it’s an unfortunate situation because pets do get loose.
“The City of Farmington, if we pick up an animal we do everything in our power to find who the owner is or if it’s in a neighborhood we try to maybe go door to door or find out who that animal is before we take it to the Washington County shelter,” he said.
Farmington spent more than $7,000 last year on shelter services and this year they have spent more than $2,000.