Without private donations, pet adoptions at the Cleveland Animal Shelter will go up in cost on July 1, from $50 to $90 for puppies and kittens, and $100 for grown animals.
Cleveland City Manager Janice Casteel said Monday during the City Council meeting the city has supplemented adoption charges from refundable spay and neuter fees that were not claimed.
“If they didn’t ask for the refund, then that money was accumulated in an account,” Casteel said. “The only thing it could be used for was animal control for spay and neuter.”
Shelter Advisory Board member Betti Gravelle said the advisory board was told the fee change would take effect on July 1.
“We worked really hard and we had a long line of people at the doctor’s office who were told it had doubled today,” Gravelle said.
A special advisory board meeting is scheduled Friday afternoon to explore ways to keep the fees low. Gravelle suggested negotiating with individual veterinarians instead of the veterinary association because different animal doctors might provide services at different prices. A special meeting will be held Monday afternoon to discuss the fees.
“If veterinarians had to walk through that shelter every day, I promise you the fee would not be that high. I promise you, because it’s hard,” she said.
Gravelle conservatively estimated five animals a day are rescued or adopted from the animal shelter.
“I just feel like the more we get out (of the shelter), the cheaper it is on everybody. It costs money to kill those animals and it costs money to send them to the landfill,” she said. “If they get out, it is better all the way around for a lot of reasons. I wouldn’t be here if there weren’t other options, but there are.”
At-Large Councilman Richard Banks said the late author and Cleveland resident Bill Breuer suggested private donations be used to supplement adoption fees which include vaccinations and spaying or neutering.