City Council Member TJ Thomson’s proposal to lower animal-licensing fees in Boise has been approved for early next year.
The list of changes includes no fees for six months for new licenses once the program is enacted. After those six months, new licenses will be $15 per year for dogs who are spayed and neutered, and $35 per year for dogs that aren’t. License renewals receive a 25% discount.
Currently spayed or neutered pets require a licensing fee of $20.25 every year. Non-spayed or neutered puppies require a fee of $27, and for dogs older than a year that price goes up to $53.50.
According to Boise City Clerk Jamie Heinzerling, an estimated 18% of dogs in Boise are licensed. Thomson’s goal is 30%.
The price decreases will result in a $96,978 hit for the city, including onetime costs associated with the change, according to a financial analysis by the city. But if license compliance improves, the city actually could generate additional revenue in future years.
Thomson predicts more people will apply to license their pets with lower prices, which will help recoup some of the lost revenue. On top of that, the more dogs that are licensed, the easier it is for organizations like the Idaho Humane Society and other animal welfare groups to get dogs to their owners.
“I see it as an important factor to get these dogs home,” Thomson said. “Not everyone does the microchipping, and this is another avenue.”
“We are proud to have worked on these proposals,” said Kristine Schellhaas, communications director of the Idaho Humane Society.
Thomson won’t run for reelection, he said, but he hopes this and other proposals he has made centered around dogs, like hot asphalt warning signs to protect dogs’ paws, will create a safer city for Boise’s companions. The signs will be posted in public areas around Boise. All of this is part of his larger initiative over the past year to make Boise a better place for dogs.