FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) - Having a cat or a dog can be costly. Residents in Florence will soon pay a little more for their pets because the city has adopted a new pet licensing program.
Starting in January, residents will be asked to pay a voluntary pet fee if they have a dog or cat.
The program will charge unaltered dog and cat owners an annual fee of $35. If residents already own an altered dog or cat, they will have to pay a one-time $35 lifetime fee or a $10 yearly fee. Residents over the age of 65 with altered pets have the option of paying a one-time fee of $7 or an annual $2 fee.
According to Chief Ron Tyler, Florence and Lauderdale County have had to euthanize hundreds of dogs and cats due to overcrowding in the animal shelter. Tyler says the goal of this program is to raise awareness, encourage owners to neuter their pets and prevent euthanasia.
Even though the program is voluntary, authorities will be enforcing this new ordinance.
"If you're a pet owner and your dog or cat gets out and brought to the shelter by an animal control officer at that time when you come to pick up that animal, you'll have to pay the recovery fee to get it out. But at that time, we will also require you to purchase the pet license," said Tyler.