To the Editor:
Stray animals are not caused by responsible owners. They are caused by irresponsible people and they are not problems to just those who own animals.
As a matter of fact, owning a dog generally restricts the number of stray dogs and cats in your yard.
So why a pet "user fee" instead of a tax paid by every property owner or even a fee added to the water bill for animal control as is done with trash service.
Wouldn't animal control be a like service?
Second, far more people adopt strays off the street than ever go to the Humane Shelter, partly because of the high fees charged by that institution to meet its requirements for adoption and partly because no child has ever been followed home by an animal that has been in the clutches of the shelter and said, "Look at what followed me home. Can we keep it?"
Given that, what the disparity in the fees practically guarantees is that pets that are adopted will not be registered or that animals that are clearly capable of breeding will remain strays.
While there is no such thing as a free puppy (or kitten), I just do not see people rushing down to City Hall to hand the mayor money for a dog tag, especially $50 every year for possibly 10 or more years.
Quite frankly, everyone in city government that advocates or voted for this ordinance that basically penalizes those who follow the law and forces people who might adopt a male animal off the streets, but cannot afford a $50 a year fee to do so to push the animal on down the road should be spayed or neutered.
Leo L. Southworth,