Animal shelter spaying, neutering fees to increase


Nov. 22, 2010 at 5:22 a.m.
Updated Nov. 23, 2010 at 5:23 a.m.

Now might be the time for anyone considering adopting a pet from the Victoria County animal shelter for a Christmas present.

The commissioners court voted Monday to increase those fees and revamp the way they are assessed. The fees, which haven't changed in nine years, take effect Jan. 1.

Bain Cate, director of the Victoria County Health Department, said there would be no change in fees for adoption, inserting microchips and testing.

The new fees are an attempt to help the three or so veterinarians who perform spaying and neutering for pets adopted from the animal shelter.

"Basically, every time they did us a favor by spaying or neutering an adopted pet, they were taking it on the chin," Cate said. "But that's the character of the vets we have; they're just helping us out."

The new fees are still about half of what it would cost an individual to take a pet to a veterinarian and have it fixed, he said.

The current spaying and neutering fees for dogs are based on whether the animal falls in the "small," "medium" or "large" category. Beginning Jan. 1, it will be based on the dog's actual weight.

For instance, a person adopting a "small" dog now would pay $50 to have it spayed or neutered. That spaying fee will increase to $65 for female dog weighing 25 pounds or less.

The cost of having a cat spayed will jump from $45 to $60 next year.

Income from the higher fees will be passed to the veterinarians and the county won't keep any of it, Cate said.

If the cost of adopting a pet from the animal shelter is prohibitive for some, there are less expensive options available. Cate said that includes adopting an animal shelter pet through Adopt-A-Pet and the Dorothy H. O'Connor Pet Adoption Center.

Renee Wheeler with Adopt-A-Pet said both agencies would be willing to help. They all work together, she said.

"If there is someone out there that needs assistance, we can always do something for them," Wheeler said. "Even if it's just saving one life, that's what we're trying to do."

Wheeler said people adopting pets through Adopt-A-Pet or the O'Connor center will get more for their dollar because dogs will go through a serious of shots not included in the county adoption fee.



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