Best Friends Sanctuary has asked the Fentress County Commissioners to set regulations requiring annual rabies shots to license a pet.
Board of Directors Member Sandra Hoover asked the commission to set a fee for licensing and the rabies shot of $4 and $8 if the pet is not spayed or neutered.
“A lot of communities do that,” Hoover said. “It’s bigger municipalities than what we have. It’s just a way to get people to do this all at one time. It’s more convenient.”
Hoover said the community has pushed back against licensing and rabies shot, which she believes deterred the county commission.
“I know that not everybody is 100 percent compliant with the rabies vaccination,” Hoover said. “I guess they don’t want something forced upon them that they have to do…I don’t really think its the cost. I think its more of people don’t wanting to be told what to do maybe.”
Hoover also asked the board to set regulations on breeders. She asked the board to set a breeder’s fee for people who breed and sell dogs online and out of their home. Hoover said these regulations will help dogs in the community.
“The ultimate goal is to make sure we know where every pet belongs, because we have a tremendous amount of dog calls to 911, a tremendous amount,” Hoover said. “That’s the first goal, to get the dogs back safely where they go.”
Hoover said the regulations will also help the shelter.
“The funds from that would help the shelter,” Hoover said. “We receive no county contribution to our shelter. It’s all privately funded by grants and private donations, so it would be a funding force for us as well.”
Hoover said the breeder’s fee would also help deter puppy mills.
“We had one lady tell one of our staff members and show her her data on the computer, and she made 43,000 a year just from selling backyard puppies,” Hoover said. “If all business have to pay and report to the IRS and be responsible for income tax and be registered and get a business license, then those people that are breeding also need to do that. Its just not fair to everyone who has a business out there.”
Hoover said the board also pushed back against the breeder’s fee.
“One of the commissioners said how do you enforce that?” Hoover said. “Its not really up to Best Friends to enforce the breeders fee. It’s whoever enforces the parts store to get their business license and do the right thing and report to the IRS. Whoever’s job that is, is who should do that.”
Hoover said she does not think the Commissioners will vote on her proposed regulations. She said she would continue to make suggestions to the Commissioners.