GENEVA – It soon will cost more in Kane County to own a dog or cat that is not spayed or neutered.
Tuesday, the Kane County Board approved a measure requested by the Kane County Health Department to increase the county fees charged to pet owners for the tags they receive to prove their animal has received the legally required rabies vaccination.
Currently, Kane County charges $10 for the tags for an annual rabies vaccination, and $25 for the tags for a three-year rabies vaccination. Under the newly approved measure, the county will continue to charge $10 and $25 for rabies vaccination tags to owners whose pets have been spayed or neutered.
But owners who opt not to spay or neuter their animals now will pay $25 for the tags for the annual rabies vaccination and $62.50 for the three-year rabies tag. County pet owners who are ages 65 or older are exempt from the new fees.
The new fees will take effect Dec. 1.
County officials said the additional fees will be used by the county to pay for operations at Kane County Animal Control and to create a pool of money to help provide lower-cost spay and neuter services for pets owned by low-income households and to spay and neuter dogs and cats at the county’s Animal Control facility.
Assistant Kane County State’s Attorney Joe Cullen told the County Board that the county is required by state law to charge the increased fees for nonspayed and non-neutered animals. But that did not prevent some County Board members from opposing the measure on principle.
County Board member Deborah Allen, D-Elgin, said she opposed the measure because it represented another fee charged to county residents.
She noted that much of the fee increase will be borne by people who breed dogs. But Allen said that doesn’t justify the need to increase the fees.
She warned that the county could expect more dog or cat owners to simply choose not to register their pets, avoiding the fee.
“Once again, this is government saying, ‘We’re going to tax people just because we can,’ ” Allen said. “I don’t think we’re going to get the result we want by adding the fee.”