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10 Percent of Duluth Pets Licensed, Councilor Says

Posted at: 11/08/2012 10:24 PM
By: Alan Hoglund
ahoglund@wdio.com

Tens of thousands of pets call Duluth home, according to the city. While a pet license is required, Jim Stauber, a city councilor, says only 10 percent of pets are licensed. Now talks are beginning about making a change, and it could end up costing pet owners extra cash.

In Duluth, Stauber says the penalty for failing to register your pet is $50. In a proposal he outlined at a city council meeting Thursday night, he suggested charging more for a license, and increasing the penalty for pet owners that fail to register. He proposes taking most, if not all the money generated by changing pet licensing fees and sending it to the Duluth Animal Shelter.

He told Eyewitness News it could help pay for more employees and pay for improvements in the building which he says was built in the 1970s. "It's woefully in dire straits," he said.

Stauber said it doesn’t have the amenities of a modern shelter, and that between two and three full time employees work there, which isn’t enough for a city the size of Duluth. He suggests the shelter has six employees.

Stauber's other proposals include:

“I love it, so thank you,” councilor Jennifer Julsrud said about some of the ideas. Many other councilors expressed the same opinions.

All of the ideas aim to get more pets licensed in the city of Duluth. But councilor Garry Krause expressed his doubts. "I'm a little worried with increased fees that it could have the regressive effect of less people licensing," he said.

Stauber's proposals are still ideas for now. As soon as Monday, councilors will vote on an item that asks them to support making changes to the city’s pet licensing process. However, that does not mean they are voting on making the changes he outlined Thursday evening.

Stauber said further discussion is needed on licensing rules enforcement.