The cost to adopt a pet from the Hall County Animal Shelter is likely to increase in the coming days, as are other fees charged by the shelter.
Hall County's Board of Commissioners is prepared to vote on the new fee schedule in a 9 a.m. meeting Thursday.
Under the proposed changes, the cost to adopt a pet would increase from $65 to $85.
County officials do not expect the changes to affect the number of adoptions at the shelter.
Even with the fee hike, the county's fee structure at the animal shelter is still comparable with surrounding counties, according to Mike Ledford,
director of Hall County's Animal Shelter.
Gwinnett County charges $30 for pet adoptions plus a $60 veterinary fee. Cobb County charges $110 for cat and dog adoptions, according to information on both government's websites.
"We're actually lower than everybody else that's comparable to us in size and population," Ledford said. "...Once we took a hard look at it, and talked to some folks in Cobb and Gwinnett, they're about to increase theirs more than they already are. We don't want to get so far below the market that we get an influx of people bringing (Cobb and Gwinnett's) stuff to us."
He says the fee changes are part of a plan county officials had all along. The cost for adoptions was purposely set low when the county animal shelter split from the Hall County Humane Society in 2009 to attract potential pet owners to the new county-owned facility, Ledford said.
"The initial plan (when the shelter opened in 2009) was in two years to revisit the fee schedule and adjust it accordingly," Ledford said.
At $65 per adoption, Ledford said the county was not making money. Increasing the fee, Ledford said, could raise animal shelter revenues by 15 to 20 percent this fiscal year as long as the rate of adoptions stays the same.
Under Ledford's proposal, other fees would also increase.
Impoundment fees would increase by $5 to $15.
The fee to board livestock at the animal shelter would increase from $20 to $25 per day, and a fee charged to euthanize animals will rise from $15 to $25.