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Council cuts unfixed dog licensing fee by 50 percent
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Dog owner Gary Britt believes the new reduced fees for canines that aren’t fixed is reasonable.

Councilwoman Debby Moorhead disagrees.

Moorhead cast the lone dissenting vote as Manteca’s elected leaders voted 4 to 1 Tuesday to slash the original $100 annual licensing fee in half and adopt discounts for multiple year renewals as long as there is a valid rabies certificate for those years. The discount for licensing your unfixed dog for three years is $100 upfront. Two-year licenses for unfixed dogs will be $75.

Britt said that as a “responsible dog owner” he could accept the reduced fee. At a prior meeting, Britt was among those protesting the higher fee put in place to discourage the procreation of unwanted dogs. Britt and others argued there are many who are responsible owners that want to breed their dogs and that the licensing cost was unfairly punishing them.

Moorhead believes what will happen, though is that those who are indeed responsible owners will pay the fee if they can afford it or struggle to do so even if they can’t really do so. Meanwhile, irresponsible dog owners whom she believes create most of the city’s problems with loose dogs and such will continue not to license their animals.

Should their dogs be impounded, the owner of an unlicensed unfixed dog would have to pay the license fee plus $20 late charges and any impound fees in order to get their animal back.

All animal services fees were raised in January after going a decade without adjustments to reflect actual costs. Unspayed and unneutered dogs, though, were jumped higher in terms of registration in a bid to encourage people to fix their animals to reduce the number of unwanted dogs.

The unfixed dog fee was originally $15 a year while fixed dogs were $5 annually to license before fees were changed.

The one-year license for dogs that are spayed or neutered went from $5 to $20 to cover city costs. Since paperwork accounts for much of the cost of issuing a license, the council adopted a two-year license for $30 and a three-year license for $40. Three years is the same length of time a rabies vaccine is good.