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Committee approves animal fee resolution

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A resolution that establishes new fees charged by the city of Roswell’s Animal Services Department was approved by the city’s Public Safety Committee.

The Committee voted 4-0 at their Dec. 17 meeting to approve the resolution, which will next go to the full council for discussion at a public hearing scheduled for Jan. 9.

The resolution will be taken up at the meeting alongside a proposed revision of Section 4 of Roswell City Code, which pertains to the keeping and ownership of animals and fowl within city limits.

Currently, Section 4 of Roswell City Code includes a set of fees. But they were removed from the proposed revision.

Mike Matthews, deputy city manager, has said placing the fees in a resolution instead of in city code makes the process easier for council to amend fees in the future.

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One of the biggest changes under the new proposed schedule would reduce the fee of adopting a dog or cat from the city from $40 to $1.

A new $25 fee is included in the resolution for people who give their pet to the city animal shelter for adoption. No such fee currently exists. Matthews said at the meeting that it costs the city $2.65 a day to shelter and feed an animal. The new fee will cover the cost of a nine-day stay in the shelter for an animal.

The revised fee schedule would impose a flat $20 for a multiple animal permit for people who own six to 10 dogs or cats, according to the resolution.

Currently the amount pet owners have to pay varies for multiple animal permits, Matthews said.

A $20 fee would also be charged for a litter or breeding permit. Registered rescue locations would be exempted, according to the proposed resolution.

The impoundment fee for an animal caught by animal control running at large will remain at $40. However, the additional impoundment fee for reclaiming that animal after the first violation will rise from an additional $10 per instance to $20.

Owners wishing to reclaim their pets would have to pay $40 when they are caught running at large the first time. The second time they would have to pay $60. The amount would increase $20 with each subsequent instance.

If adopted, one section of city code would require all animals within city limits to be microchipped, a service that would be provided by the city. The fee schedule in the resolution states a pet owner would be charged $10 per animal to get their dog or cat microchipped.

Pet owners currently must obtain an aluminum tag each year containing the animal’s information at a cost of $10 per year. Matthews though said an animal only has to be microchipped once and it is good for life.

Matthews has said microchipping animals will enable animal control to more quickly reunite lost pets with their owners.

The resolution also includes a new one-time fee of $50 for maintaining an unaltered dog or cat. If the animal is caught running at large a second time, that pet must be spayed or neutered.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.