Citrus County animal owners will have to cough up more money if their pet is not spayed or neutered.
A one-year license will now cost them $75, up from $35. A three-year license will set you back $225, up from $105.
Pet owners who do have their animals spayed or neutered will still pay the old fees of $10 for a one-year license and $30 for a three-year license.
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County spokeswoman Jodi Sanders said the intent is to encourage pet owners to spay or neuter their animals to keep down populations.
“That way if the pets do get out there, they’re not reproducing, especially with cats,” she said. “We have plenty of feral cats.”
Other changes now in effect:
– Rescue groups, breeders, hobby breeders and owners of 11 or more dogs, cats and companion animals must register annually with the county for $25. Failure to register could result in a $250 penalty.
– Animals placed in quarantine after biting a human must be microchipped at the owner’s expense.
– Any unaltered animals turned into the shelter will be sterilized unless owners can provide an up-to-date license. Even if they do, owners can only reclaim their animal once. If the animal is impounded on more than one occasion, the unaltered license will be forfeited, and the animal will be sterilized before being released to the owner.
– Proof of a current rabies vaccination is required for all animals being claimed at the shelter or the animal will be vaccinated at the owner’s expense.
Dogs, cats, and ferrets four months or older must have a rabies vaccination and be registered with animal services. The county pet license is married to the rabies vaccination. The tag will expire at the end of that period or when the next rabies vaccine is due, whichever is earlier.