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In this month’s update, I want to provide information on the upcoming discussion on an animal shelter and an ordinance on spay and neuter opportunities for low-income citizens. Both are part of a package to ensure we can treat animals more humanely with the help of citizens and work to save taxpayers money in the long run.
In case you didn’t know, the Sheriff’s Department receives many animal control calls from citizens. It is a topic that’s affects many of us, whether we own pets or not.
First, let’s discuss the animal shelter, scheduled for a public hearing and scheduled vote at our November 5 County Council meeting. The County Council will be discussing the location of the shelter.
The proposed Edgefield County Animal Shelter will keep us from transporting animals to Aiken’s shelter, which we do now. It’s expensive (more on that topic in a moment), and it is inconvenient for citizens who now have to travel to Aiken to retrieve an animal. We also want the County’s shelter to be a place we can work to try to get stray animals adopted.
Our goal is to partner with the SPCA (and others who are interested) to help us in these efforts.
Another benefit of having our own animal shelter is that it will likely pay for itself in 6-7 years, saving tax dollars. Through an agreement with the Aiken shelter, we pay them per animal taken there. And that cost has escalated in the past 10 years from $23,647 in 2004 to $65,251 last year. That’s quite an increase and shows we need to start taking care of our own animals (See chart).
In addition to the animal shelter, County Council will take up at our November 5 meeting for the first of three readings an ordinance that covers spay and neuter options for citizens.
The proposed ordinance sets aside $5,000 annually to aid low-income families to have their pet spayed or neutered to help control the pet population. This program has worked well in other counties to help bring down the number of animals that can become strays, according to the SPCA. Also, the County will pay for the $25 fee for transporting the animal. All the qualifying pet owner is required to pay is the $15 application fee, which includes a microchip that will be fitted on the animal.
I encourage you to go to the website to review the entire ordinance, and let us know what you think about this ordinance and about the animal shelter in general.
I can tell you County Council is very concerned about protecting people and animals.
Until next time,