Shelter to raise cat intake fees

By Cecilia Fox -

MIAMI COUNTY — On Tuesday, the Miami County Commissioners approved changes to the county animal shelter’s cat intake fees.

The county has not increased fees for cat intake in about 20 years and costs, including supplies and euthanasia, have risen steadily since then, Animal Shelter Director Marcia Doncaster said.

“We just have to change our fees to reflect our costs,” she said.

Residents who bring in stray cats will now pay a $5 fee, rather than a $2 fee. The fee for owner-surrendered cats will now be $20 across the board, where before the rates were $2 for owner-released, adoptable cats, and $30 for cats brought in by their owners to be euthanized. The new rates will be effective March 1.

Owner-released cats are usually brought in by their owners to be euthanized because they are sick or older, Doncaster said.

“We’ve had such a large influx of cats,” she said. “All the other counties have a right of refusal when space is an issue and we’ve never done that. We’re going to have to start refusing intake when we do get full.”

The Ohio Revised Code does not require shelters to take in cats, Doncaster said, and these fees will go to the shelter’s cat fund.

“We have to have a special cat fund. Any cat intake fees go into that fund and that’s where we pull our expenses from for the cats,” she explained. “We accept cats out of a courtesy to the residents and we will continue to do so.”

Commissioner Jack Evans noted that the shelter accepts cats as a service to residents and “because of that, we also need to make sure our costs are covered.”

The commissioners also authorized negotiations with an engineering firm for the design of a project extending a water line to Upper Valley Medical Center.

The Sanitary Engineering Department will negotiate with Access Engineering Solutions of Celina for professional design services for the project.

According to Sanitary Engineer Paul Huelskamp, the county is seeking grant funding through the Ohio Public Works Commission for this project, which is set for construction in 2019.

The board also approved a lease agreement for a substance abuse screening system with StreeTime Technologies of Easton, Conn.

The system, a PassPoint.Net unit, is used to screen for evidence of substance abuse. The unit performs breath tests and retinal scans.

The cost is $1,900 per month, not to exceed $22,800 for the period of March 8, 2017, through March 7, 2018.

Commissioner’s Clerk Leigh Williams noted that the court has been unable to find any other technology like the PassPoint.Net system.

“This has saved them a lot of manpower hours, because they can scan as opposed to taking urine samples and that makes a big difference,” Evans added.

By Cecilia Fox

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