Lost animal return fees – do they promote animal welfare or fundraising? – Poll
How would you feel if you lost your dog and had to pay to get it back? We learned this morning that some animal shelters are charging fees for the return of lost pets.
Accidentally letting an animal loose, failing to license a pet, or owning a dog that barks a lot could mean a fine or arrest warrant, according to CNN Money.
Fees to reclaim a single pet have been reported to be over $180 at some shelters, which some pet owners and animal rights attorneys say unfairly impacts low-income citizens. One Californian woman, for example, told CNN Money that her lost dog was euthanized less than a week after the she found it in a shelter but could not pay to retrieve it.
Animal control agencies, however, say the charges help make their services possible. The fines, they say, also encourage responsible pet ownership.
In theory, this could help prevent situations where animals may be unkempt and roaming the community, causing health or safety risks. Conversely, not all shelters are above reproach in care-taking, as the NJSPCA takeover of Helmetta Regional Animal Shelter illustrated.
What do you think? Are these fees really there to promote animal welfare or are they moneymakers? Let us know what you think in the poll and comments section below.