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Letter to the Editor

1:39 pm

Independent Editor,
Shiawassee County has an $800,000 surplus. After they had all these shortages and budget cuts, etc, etc. How can that be? I wonder if they have accounted for everything correctly. I remember a time when they thought they were short on funds and they were going to close the animal control shelter. Then they “found” some money and kept it open. I never did find out how they lost the money, nor how they found it. HA! That didn’t last. Then they raised the dog license fees. Doubled for altered dogs, tripled for intact dogs to $10 and $30 (one of the five highest in the state) to raise the funds to improve the animal shelter. HA! That didn’t work either. They closed the shelter, but of course kept the high license fees. Supposedly they made a deal with the Shiawassee County Humane Society to care for the dogs the animal control officer picked up. From closing through 2014, that bill was about five to six thousand dollars a year. For 2015, it was zero, while being budgeted at $6,000. So that is one of the surpluses.
Maybe it’s about time they lowered those license fees back down to what they were at $5 and $10. By state law they may be set high enough to cover the cost of administering the dog law. Animal Control enforces every law related to animals, all animals, not just dogs. That budget is at $98,000 for 2016 with $111,000 projected income from license fees. Bad juju. We still have one county that only charges $1 for a dog license…male or female, altered or not. If they can do it, why can’t we?
I see no justification for the amount Shiawassee County dog owners are paying. All this surplus doesn’t need to go to only county employees. Give some back to some of the residents. Particularly those the county has been overcharging all these years.
It looks like the animal control budget managed to come in $32 under “budget” after they even bought a new truck that was not budgeted for. That is so so sick. That is really $32 under the amount they collected from dog license fees. Dog owners shouldn’t be paying for everything animal control does. Our dogs are not causing any problem. The problems (if any) come from unlicensed dogs with irresponsible owners. Guess there weren’t any of those picked up last year.  Chasing cows, cats, chickens, horses, etc is also not the responsibility of dog owners. That is the responsibility of the entire county, not just the dog owners.   The entire county should be paying for it and put the dog license fee back down where it belongs.
Dog owners call your county commissioners and tell them so. I’m sure they would love to hear from you.

Kay Lorraine-Lauro, Bennington Township

was last modified: May 31st, 2016 by Karen Elford