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Hettinger City Council approves retrieval fee increase

Retrieving a captured animal will now be more expensive in Hettinger after the City Council passed an ordinance during a meeting at the Adams County Courthouse Wednesday morning.

Operating without a dog catcher and a city pound, the Adams County Sheriff's Department will often pick up a stray or escaped dog or cat and drop it off at the West River Veterinary Clinic, said Adams County Auditor Patricia Carroll.

People also occasionally drop off an animal found strolling about, she said.

Carroll said while it is difficult to gauge how the found animals are arriving at the clinic, fees for housing animals at the clinic "have definitely increased this year."

Adams County Sheriff Gene Molbert said the department is not picking up any more animals than usual.

Molbert said part of the fee change was due to "confusion."

When Molbert began working for the Sheriff's Department in 1991, he was advised the fee was $40 for the first retrieval and $95 for the second.

Molbert said it was brought to the city's attention that the ordinance hadn't been changed from the previous $10 to $40.

After the ordinance passed Wednesday, each incident will now be $40.

"I would guess ... no more than 10 times a year," Molbert said of how often catches need to be performed.

WRVC Veterinarian Dr. Lisa Henderson said it seems there is a slight increase in stray or lost animals being brought in, but nothing dramatic.

Henderson said found animals are housed for seven days, by city ordinance, and if the owner is not found or the clinic isn't contacted in that time, the animal is euthanized.

Henderson recommends pet owners place identification tags on their pet or have it micro-chipped, which can be administered at the clinic.