By Michael Howell
At a meeting to consider adoption of the FY 2012 Budget, Peg Platt of the Animal Control Board made a plea to the County Commissioners to maintain the position of Animal Control Officer. The Commissioners’ budget would eliminate that position as well as the position of Animal Control Administrator.
Platt told the Commissioners that the ACO position was crucial to enforcement of the county’s Animal Control Ordinance passed in 2007.
“Because of ACO visibility and enforcement of dog licensing, our monthly revenue has increased from $500 per month in February and March to $1,200 per month in July and August,” said Platt. She argued that the revenues produced by the ACO could conceivably pay for the position if it was allowed to continue. She said a survey revealed that there are approximately 14,200 dogs in the county. She said in a perfect world this would net $142,000 annually in license fees.
“The dogs are there,” said Platt. “They are required by law to be licensed. ACO visibility has markedly increased licensing. Without an ACO, collections will plummet.”
Platt said with rabies in the valley the ACO position was crucial for safety reasons. She said an additional $20,000 from the General Fund was all that would be needed to continue the position for another year and see if the collections come in. She said it was not a lot to ask.