#Animal Welfare
Pasco County Board of County Commissioners
United States of America

We have a pet overpopulation problem in Pasco County.

FACT: In 2015, Pasco County Animal Services had a total of 3729 homeless dogs and cats in their care. 2667 of those animals were strays. 590 of those animals were euthanized. **WE, the taxpayers, paid for this!

*Don’t be fooled by the euthanasia number or the illusion of a “90% no-kill shelter.” Irresponsible intakes and adoptions are skewing the numbers and 90% no-kill is NOT a long term or sustainable solution for pet overpopulation.

FACT: Pasco County shelter is overcapacity with dogs.

FACT: There are currently 4 dogs at the Pasco shelter that have been living there for OVER A YEAR! **Dogs/cats living in an overpopulated and understaffed concrete walled fenced cage for any extended period of time is INHUMANE! The noise, the lack of exercise, and the lack of proper veterinary care causes animal stress and behavior problems, which in turn causes animals to be inappropriately labeled as “unadoptable.”

We need to let the BOCC know, in this election year, that we want a sustainable solution to pet overpopulation without an increase in euthanasia. The only way to do this is to make it known that Pasco County residents and taxpayers prefer that all pets be spayed or neutered.

Why don’t we ask for a mandatory spay/neuter (MSN) ordinance in Pasco County? Unfortunately, animals are still considered “property” in the eyes of the law. For this reason, many other BOCC’s (Board of County Commissioners) from the surrounding counties, like Hillsborough and Pinellas, have rejected mandatory spay/neuter. We cannot force residents to spay/neuter their “property.” However, we can make it more “convenient” and “economical” for residents to have their animals spayed/neutered.

Pasco County Code of Ordinances Chapter 14 requires annual licensing for pets. Licenses are sold by veterinarians or the county after a pet has received an annual rabies vaccination. The current fee schedule:

Dog License Tags-Intact $35.00
Spayed/Neutered $10.00
Replacement Tag for lost tag $5.00
Voluntary Cat License Tags $5.00

This petition serves to change the above fee schedule to the following:

Dog License Tag- Spayed/Neutered $10.00
Dog License Tag- Intact $100.00
Replacement Tag $5.00
Cat License Tag-Spayed/Neutered $5.00
Cat License Tag- Intact $50.00

**Effective Immediately**

The changes:
1. Cat licenses no longer “voluntary”.
2. Intact dog/cat tag fees significantly higher. (10x the cost of a spayed/neuter tag.)

Why should these changes be effective immediately?

Because current funding for our low cost spay/neuter program and TNR is low or is about to end.

What will the county do with this money?

Spayed/Neutered dog license fees will continue to go to the shelter for the care of the animals in their custody.

Intact dog license fees will go to the county’s Spay Pasco, Inc. program which provides low cost spay/neuter services. ($20 dogs/$10 cats.)

All funds received for cat licenses will go to TNR (Trap Neuter Return.)
*TNR is a program for un-owned/feral cats. Cats are spayed/neutered, rabies vaccinated, and ear tipped. Then, are returned to where they were found.

Won’t this change increase the number of owner surrenders?

Initially, it might. However, in the long term, studies have shown that spay/neuter IS the solution to pet overpopulation. Additionally, with PROPER owner education and marketing of Pasco County’s low cost spay/neuter options, the owner surrenders should decrease.

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The Pet Overpopulation in Pasco County; Raise the County License fees for those who choose not to Spay/Neuter petition to Pasco County Board of County Commissioners was written by Kim Ziak and is in the category Animal Welfare at GoPetition.