There seems to be some concerns about a pet drop off fee at the Arlington Animal Shelter. This fee is proposed in the 2015 Budget, and it seems to be the only concern of our citizens about the budget. Now the reason for the fee is that it takes money to accept a citizen’s pet and care for it until the pet is either reclaimed or euthanized. There will also be an expenditure, for the purpose of hiring an animal abuse investigator. This investigator will respond to calls where animals are observed being in abusive environments.
Now there has been some citizens that have stated their collective concerns about individuals simply dumping their pets at schools or open fields etc.. I get your concern and I have weighed your emails against other factors, and I have come to the conclusion that I support the collection of the fee. The following are my reasons:
1. When an individual accepts the responsibility of pet ownership, they have made a commitment to that pet and their family to give the animal a good home for its entire life. This responsibility cannot be taken lightly, and should be made good because of the inability of the animal to care for itself. Therefore, there should be some penalty when that promise is broken.
2. If someone decides to turn in their pet there is a cost to the city. That cost to the city is one that is passed along to the tax payers as a whole. Why should I or anyone else be saddled with the financial burden of caring for the pet that you have turned into the city. Therefore, you should pay for the cost of turning your pet over to the city. Again, you broke the promise.
3. Our society is made up of a spectrum of people. Some are responsible individuals and some are not. This is true of our society as a whole, and not just
residents. Therefore, we will always have the type of people that simply release their pets into the city, without regard for their requirements of care. This is a sad statement but true. This will happen if there is or is not a fee. Arlington
Studies have shown us that the utilization of a fee structure for turning in a pet, in other cities, has not resulted in an increase of stray animals. I personally am a dog lover. I have had German Short Hair Pointers my entire adult life. When the day comes to say good bye to these members of our family they die in my arms, and are still loved to this day. They are brought home and buried in the same yard they use to play in throughout their life. It is a sad day, but they are paid the respect that they deserve for their constant love and devotion.