New Philadelphia, Ohio - Tuscarawas County residents will have an opportunity to weigh in on proposed fee increases for the Tuscarawas County Dog Pound.

Earlier this year, Tuscarawas County Commissioners asked county Auditor Larry Lindberg to conduct a cost analysis to determine reasonable fees for services provided by the County Dog Pound.

For the analysis, Lindberg reviewed the services provided by the department in 2017 and calculated the costs associated with each of those services.

According to the final report submitted in August, the county spends $38.57 for each dog seized and delivered to the pound, $18.52 per dog per day for food and housing and $92.60 for each adoption. 

The fees currently charged by the pound are $28 for each dog seized and delivered to the pound, $6 per dog per day for food and housing and $34 per adoption. 

Commissioner Joe Sciarretti says fee increases are being considered as a way to help stabilize the operating budget for the county dog pound.

“There’s a lot of pressure and stress on our dog pound,” he says.

In 2017, the Tuscarawas County Dog Warden’s Department picked up 410 dogs and handled 1,051 complaints, according to the report. The average number of new dogs received per month was 67, or approximately two new dogs per day, and the average stay for each dog was five days. 

The public is invited to learn more about the report and provide feedback on the proposed increases during a public hearing on Monday, September 24, at 9:30 a.m. The meeting will be held in the William E. Winter’s Board Room on the second floor of the Tuscarawas County Courthouse Annex, located at 125 E. High Ave. in New Philadelphia. 

County Commissioner Chris Abbuhl notes that nothing has been finalized at this point and that commissioners are under no obligation to adopt the fees suggested by the auditor.

“Now we’re going to have a hearing if anyone wants to come in and talk about it, and then we have to discuss it at a regular meeting and make a determination on if we were to increase the fees. We can go less than what the study shows but we can’t go more than what the study shows,” he explains. 

The current proposal comes on the heels of a $2 increase to license and adoption fees that went into effect at the beginning this year and a new, $20 pull fee for rescues that was approved in February. 

Commissioner Kerry Metzger says that before that, there hadn’t been an increase to the fees assessed by the dog pound since at least 2006 or 2007. 

“This hasn’t been looked at in over 10 years, so we thought it was appropriate to look at these and keep them in line with what the general cost of what these things would be,” he explains.

Tuscarawas County Dog Warden Terry Warner says that costs have gone up across the board since the last time some of the fees were looked at. 

"It would be nice to back fees off because you're ok, but that'll never come because everything goes up in cost," he says. 

Stacey Carmany, Tusco TV

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