December 22, 2014

Elyria
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Lorain County Dog Kennel significantly increases adoption fee

kennel

ELYRIA — The cost of adopting a dog from the Lorain County Dog Kennel will jump from $15 to $50 starting Sunday.

Lorain County Commissioner Lori Kokoski said the fee hike, approved Wednesday, was the result of the increased costs associated with housing the dogs at the kennel and preparing them for adoption. She said the kennel now spays or neuters the dogs and provides vaccinations, things that weren’t done before when the fee was first set.

“We’re doing a lot more for the dogs,” she said.

Kokoski also said local animal rescue groups have asked the county to raise the adoption fee rate as well.

“It’s still a very inexpensive opportunity to adopt a dog in this county or any other county,” she said.

The commissioners also agreed Wednesday to raise the cost of annual dog licenses from $14 to $16 next year and eliminate a $2 discount for those older than 65. She said the discount was eliminated at the request of county Auditor Craig Snodgrass’ office because it was “an administrative nightmare” to run.

Changes in state law will also allow the count to issue three-year dog tags, which will cost $48, and lifetime licenses, which will run $160. Kokoski said she isn’t certain special heart-shaped tags, which cost an additional $5, will still be offered.

The extra money generated by the sale of the heart-shaped tags is devoted to medical care of animals at the kennel. Kokoski said that she doesn’t think the tag is what’s important to the people buying it, but rather the cause. She said it might make more sense to give those who contribute a car magnet or something similar in return for their donation to the medical fund.

In other business, the commissioners voted to approve a new three-year contract with the union representing licensed practical nurses and service worker at Golden Acres Nursing home in Amherst Township.

The move means that the county-owned nursing home will remain open, according to a joint news release from the county and Teamsters Local 426.

County Administrator Jim Cordes said rumors circulating that the nursing home might close because of the contract dispute have led to a lower-than-normal number of residents at the facility.

Also Wednesday, Kokoski and Commissioner Ted Kalo voted to use money brought in by fines and interest levies on homes with delinquent property taxes to fund the county’s land bank, a move opposed by Commissioner Tom Williams, a frequent critic of the program.

The county has run through most of the money it received from the state to fund the land bank, but Kokoski said there are still vacant and dilapidated houses in the county that need to be torn down.

“It’s a program, I believe, we need to keep going,” she said after the meeting.

Williams said he thinks the money would be better spent elsewhere.

“The reason I voted against it is I don’t believe in taking money away from schools and libraries,” he said after the meeting.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.