Licenses, fees and penalties to increase for pet owners

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Sioux City Mayor, Bob Scott says, “Every pet should have a home. There shouldn’t be unwanted pets.”

Sioux City Animal Adoption and Rescue Center works tirelessly to find its shelter animals good, loving homes, but every year it becomes harder to do so. 

Sioux City Animal Adoption Rescue’s, Cindy Rarrat says, “We see an over pet population that has never decreased in 30 some years since I’ve been here.”

And with the stray animal population increasing, so has the number of animal bites over the years. Hoping to combat the issue, city council is encouraging more pet owners to spay and neuter their pets by increasing the annual license fees.

Originally the fee for unmetered animals was going to be increased from $31 to $125, but to make it more affordable, the city council changed it to $50.

For neutered pets, a license is just 15 dollars.

Rarrat says, “We want to make sure we don’t have an overpopulation of animals, it’s healthier for the pet and therefore we also have fewer animals running loose because there are fewer animals in heat. We have fewer dog fights and scuffles. So it’s just very beneficial to spay and neuter your pet.”

Under the revised animal control chapters, fines and penalties for pet owners whose dogs bite or attack will also be increasing.

Scott says, “We put a lot more responsibility on the pet owner and I think that’s where the responsibility belongs for a dog. It doesn’t belong with the city and it doesn’t belong with people walking in neighborhoods. It belongs with the pet owner and that comes into play with this ordinance.”

“This next year it’s going to be a very important issue so make sure you get those dogs as well as cats licensed to prevent any penalties and to keep those animals safe. It’s a win, win for everyone,” says Rarrat.

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