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BOC raises surrender fee for pets

LAWRENCEVILLE -- The cost to leave a pet at the Gwinnett Animal Control Clinic is going up.

Commissioners approved a new rate structure for the center, but they kept the $30 cost to adopt a dog, cat or ferret the same. Smaller animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs and birds are $10.

"We're trying to encourage adoption. We're trying to discourage dumping," said Commissioner Mike Beaudreau. "It's a crying shame when people get to the point where they have to give up their animals."

The crowded shelter leads to thousands of euthanizations a year.

But Beaudreau said he didn't want to raise the surrender fee, which had been $20 per animal, so high that animals were instead left at the side of the road. The fee was set at $25, which members of the county's Animal Advisory Committee recommended over a $50 proposal.

Officials also increased the rabies observation/

quarantine reclaim fee to $200, doubled a daily board fee to $10 on impounded animals and raised that fee for livestock to $15.

The board also established a "dangerous dog fee," which had been included in the ordinance but never set, at $200.

Also on Tuesday, commissioners approved several administrative matters concerning a new trash plan.

Setting a service district for the unincorporated areas of the county, officials allowed for six staffers to be added to manage the county's solid waste program and set up a 5 percent late penalty and 1 percent interest for neglecting to pay.

The program is slated to begin July 1, with residents expected to be charged for the first 18 months of service on July tax bills.