For the first time in seven years, the price for a dog tag will increase. The $2 increase will allow the county to hire a full-time kennel keeper, which the Athens County Dog Shelter hasn’t had since 2005.
The kennel keeper will take care of the animals and the facility. The person will also oversee adoptions, the spay/neuter program, foster program, work with volunteers and dog rescue groups, assist with fundraising and grant-writing and perform other duties. The position is designed to alleviate some of the dog warden's duties and to prevent the shelter from closing when Warden Jeff Koons and his assistant wardens are called out.
The new position was initially going to be part-time, replacing a part-time commissioner who retired.
The shelter has another open position, one for a full-time assistant dog warden. Commissioner Chris Chmiel said applications for that position are in and interviews will be scheduled soon.
When all the hires are complete, the shelter will have three full-time wardens and a full-time kennel keeper.
Also at Thursday’s meeting, commissioners voted to keep the existing two-tier system, in which tags for spayed or neutered dogs costs $10 less. Anne Cornwell, a member of the Friends of the Shelter Dogs who spoke as an individual and not representing the group, previously proposed abandoning the two-tiers.
Effective Dec. 1, the county will charge $24 for dog tags. The price drops to $16 for spayed or neutered dogs. Each year, the commissioners must set the price of dog tags and can only increase them in $2 increments.
As previously reported, the new price also impacts the price of three-year and permanent tags that the state is requiring the county to sell beginning with 2014 tags. The three-year tag price is three times the designated annual price, while permanent tags are 10 times the annual price.