Carroll County will consider earmarking $5,000 into next year’s budget to go toward reimbursing county citizens for spaying and neutering their dogs and cats.
During the Carroll County Board of Supervisors’ Jan. 14 meeting, Supervisor Sam Dickson said the county spends money on animal control, but has been requested to spend more on “slowing the process down.” He noted that Galax reimburses $50 to citizens for animal spay and neutering. Additionally, a PetSmart grant is available for citizens in the 24343 zip code that reimburses them for the spay and neutering of their dogs and cats.
“What I am asking is that we put an amount out and let the budget committee, whenever it’s in place, look at it and see if they can’t add it into this year’s budget,” Dickson said.
Dickson said if the board put $5,000 into the budget, that should be enough for 100 spay and neuters. There should be some stipulations for receiving reimbursement, however.
“It would have to be somebody in the county, somebody that actually bought a tag. Somebody with a dog without a tag, we aren’t going to pay for you to have it fixed. There might be some other stipulations that can be determined later if we find money in the budget,” Dickson said. “So my motion is that we ask the budget committee to look to see if they can add $5,000 for the year for the use of spay and neutering animals.”
Dickson later explained his motion was for the next fiscal year that starts in July as opposed to the current fiscal year. Supervisor Josh Hendrick seconded the motion, which the board passed unanimously.
Carroll County Animal Control Officer Terry Woods noted that Dickson’s motion included dogs. He wanted to know if cats would also be included.
“I think we include both, but we need to look at it when we get the money and finalize it,” Dickson said. “Did you have any information you could give us? I asked you to compile a little bit.”
Woods said the Twin County Humane Society did get a grant from PetSmart in the amount of $50,000 for the 24343 zip code. Of that grant, $39,895.44 was spent on 316 cats and 314 dogs, for a total of 630 animals spayed and neutered. The total $50,000 was spent, he said, but one particular vet gives a discount, resulting in a cost of $63.32 per animal. The 24343 zip code covers 70 percent of the county, not just Hillsville.
“But if we do that we would be the only location other than the City of Galax as a government agency that provides any money to their locality. Wythe, Grayson, Floyd and Pulaski counties do not give any tax contribution to spay and neutering,” Woods said. “What they use is the pet friendly like we have been doing.”
Dickson said the $5,000 could help fill the remaining 30 percent void of the county’s population that cannot use the grant.
“I’m sure people will take advantage of it,” Woods said. “I don’t think we want to discriminate as far as income or anything like that. It should be open to any individual.”
Martin said his wife is in the Twin County Humane Society. He said the organization also spends thousands of dollars on regular veterinarian bills. He said he didn’t think there was any stipulation for those. The group also spends thousands of dollars assisting to help feed animals, he said. Woods added that the humane society also helps provide doghouses and information to some citizens as well.
Supervisor Dr. Tom Littrell said he noticed the county’s revenue has been declining for collection of animal licenses. In 2010, a little over $28,000 was collected, he said, but in 2011 and 2012 the number dropped a little over $8,000 each year. Littrell said if the county could get its revenue for animal licenses back to where it needs to be, maybe it could use money to put toward spay and neutering.
“Believe it or not, a lot of this is the economy,” Woods said. “It’s not that people are not buying, a lot of them have gotten rid of them, too. We do check, we don’t get them all, but we do check (on animal licenses).”