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Local

County looks to increase dog vaccination fees

DIXON – Lee County is considering upping its rabies vaccination fees for dogs by $3 to pay for increased animal control expenses and extra workload down the road.

The County Board held off on a resolution earlier this week to increase the license fees by $3 across the board, which for a 1-year vaccination would cost $18 for spayed or neutered dogs or $33 for those that aren’t. The 3-year vaccination would cost $38 and $61, respectively.

The fees, which haven’t increased since 2014, would go into effect in September if approved, but board Vice Chairwoman Marilyn Shippert said they should wait a month and spend more time looking at the fees, comparing with other counties, making sure it’s consistent with past increases and encouraging dog owners to spay or neuter their pets.

Animal Control Supervisor Teri Zinke is looking to replace a part-time employee opening with a full-time position because of an already increasing workload that she expects to double if the governor signs legislation that would require rabies vaccinations for cats.

Senate Bill 131 would require cats 4 months or older to get a rabies vaccine, but it wouldn’t include feral cats unless they were being spayed or neutered. The bill passed both houses at the end of May and was sent to the governor in late June.

The fee increase would be for a year, and then they would revisit the issue to see if bigger increases were needed, board member Chris Norberg said.

Last week, the county finance committee signed off on a part-time hire but decided the full-time discussion should wait until later when budget talks start.

The increases will go back to the board Aug. 20 for a vote.

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