GATE CITY — Those who adopt a pet from the Scott County Animal Shelter will now have to pay an adoption fee.
The Scott County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing about the fee during its Wednesday meeting. No members of the public spoke during the public hearing, and the fee was unanimously approved.
What is the fee?
The adoption fee was proposed during last month’s BOS meeting. Previously, the shelter had no adoption fee, and for owners who lost an animal that ended up at the shelter, the return-to-owner fee was $3 per day.
Under the new fee structure, adopters will pay $30 per animal. For owners picking up a lost animal at the shelter, the fee will be $13 the first day and $3 for each day after that. There will also be a new $10 fee for the Scott County Humane Society, which removes some animals from the shelter and places them with rescue groups.
Why was the change needed?
The change to the shelter’s fee structure is designed to recoup costs associated with the facility’s new wellness program, in which animals are vaccinated for contagious diseases upon intake.
“Of course, we want to make sure with this program that our citizens are getting the healthiest animal possible,” said County Administrator Freda Starnes. “So that’s how the wellness program came about, and we were looking at ways to recoup those charges, so that’s how the fee structure came about during our meeting.”
Starnes added that health records will be available for each animal, detailing the vaccinations they’ve received. Once an animal is adopted, the records will be given to the new owners.
Is the shelter open?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the shelter has been closed since March 24 and will remain closed until further notice.
Animal control officers will continue to answer emergency calls, and if members of the public are interested in owner surrender or adoption, appointments will be made for serious adopters only during the hours of 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. To schedule an appointment, call (276) 452-1325.
For more information or to see some of the shelter’s adoptable animals, search for “Scott County Virginia Animal Shelter Adoptables” on Facebook.