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Published: Friday, 4/9/2004

Fulton County dog licenses may rise to $15

WAUSEON - The price of owning Max or Fido could be going up in Fulton County.

County Dog Warden Pete Skeldon asked the county commissioners yesterday to consider raising the annual dog license fee to $15 annually, a jump of $3 per dog.

He also proposed increasing the kennel tag for owners of five or more dogs from $60 to $75 a year.

"We would have $30,000 a year more if we were to do that," Mr. Skeldon told the commissioners.

The license fee was hiked in Fulton County four years ago, allowing Mr. Skeldon to start operating more independently of the general fund.

Should the fee be increased again, Mr. Skeldon said his office would be self-sufficient.

Most recently, the county paid around $15,000 to supplement the dog warden's budget.

Last year in Toledo, Lucas County commissioners approved hiking their license fee to $20 per dog. In nearby counties, though, the rate is much lower, with Williams, Wood, and Ottawa county residents all paying $12. Henry County's rate is at $14 per dog.

Fulton County commissioners said they would think about the dog warden's proposal, with a decision needed before an Aug. 31 deadline.

"We probably ought to take a look at this over the summer," Commissioner Jack Graf said. But the county leaders also stressed that the income would be more impressive if all county dog owners actually purchased licenses.

Mr. Skeldon estimated that the nearly 8,000 dogs licensed so far this year represent only about one-third of all canines in the county.

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