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Arlington raising fees for dog licences

Arlington resident Tynoccia Goodwyn walks her 2-year-old bichon frise, Poppyseed, on Wednesday, June 23.  - Adam Rudnick
Arlington resident Tynoccia Goodwyn walks her 2-year-old bichon frise, Poppyseed, on Wednesday, June 23.
— image credit: Adam Rudnick

ARLINGTON — Dog licensing fees are jumping up on Arlington residents.

On Monday, June 21, the City Council approved a resolution to raise the city’s existing fees by up to $10 depending on the dog.

Owners of unaltered canines will see the largest increase, with annual fees for non-neutered male and non-spayed female dogs rising from $5 and $10, respectively, to $20.

The new city fees will also include annual fee categories for altered dogs owned by senior citizens ($5) and altered and microchipped dogs ($5).

The city is estimating that increased fees will offset the costs associated with staff time required to maintain the city’s dog license database and help lost dogs reunite with their owners, said city of Arlington spokeswoman Kristin Banfield.

“We’re hoping that with the new fee structure will encourage folks to microchip their dogs,” she said.

Dog license fees do not pay for the city’s animal control expenses, Banfield said. Rather, the city of Arlington contracts with an outside agency, most recently the Everett Animal Shelter.

The city spent more than $25,500 on animal control expenses in 2009, prompting the City Council to approve a new contract with the Humane Society of Skagit County.

That contract is expected to cut those costs to about $7,100 in 2010.

Approximately 85 lifetime and 46 annual unaltered dog licenses were issued in 2009.

Dog owners will not be able to purchase a lifetime license under the city’s new fee structure.

Additionally, late fees for licenses will go up from $5 to $10, as will replacement fees for city issued dog tags. That fee will go from $1.50 to $5.

The City Council has been reviewing the city’s dog licensing fees for the past six months.

Banfield said that prior to Monday’s vote, dog licensing fees had not gone up in at least 10 years.

“The cost that we were charging was not keeping up with the cost to provide the service,” she said.

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