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This week the St. Lucie County Commission unanimously approved an ordinance that makes the registration fee for dogs and cats ten times higher for animals who have not been spayed or neutered. (For a sterilized dog or cat, the annual fee will be $10; the annual fee for a non-sterilized dog or cat will be $100.) The goal is to encourage the spaying and neutering of companion animals, and decrease the number of dogs and cats killed at area shelters. About 6,000 animals are euthanized each year in St. Lucie County. Commissioner Chris Craft praised the vote, “This is going to save the taxpayers money and there will be less inhumanity to animals.”

Please contact the county commission and thank them for passing this important ordinance.
-Use St. Lucie County’s online comment form to contact the commissioners: http://www.stlucieco.gov/bocc2/email.htm

The ordinance is a positive step, but it only applies within the unincorporated areas of the county. Please contact the cities of Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie and urge them to adopt an ordinance that mirrors the county ordinance.

-Mayor Robert Benton, City of Fort Pierce
E-mail: rbenton@city-ftpierce.com
-Mayor Patricia Christensen, City of Port St. Lucie
E-mail: Mayor@cityofpsl.com

Hillsborough County next?
In reaction to an increase in dog bites, Hillsborough County officials have proposed a number of solutions including an increase in the licensing fee for dogs who are not spayed or neutered. Hillsborough County Animal Services Director Bill Armstrong has explained that an unsterilized dog is more likely to bite than one who has been sterilized. 75% of the dog bites reported each year in Hillsborough County involve unsterilized dogs. Not surprisingly, dog breeders have mobilized against the proposal.

Please contact the county and express your support of increasing licensing fees for dog owners who don’t spay or neuter.
-Online comment form: http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/bocc/about/contactus.cfm

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