CHAPEL HILL Orange County Animal Services has begun exempting its annual pet-licensing fee for sterilized pets belonging to residents receiving public assistance.
In order to qualify for a fee exemption, the pet must also be current on its rabies vaccination.
Residents receiving public assistance must provide proof to Animal Services annually to qualify for the exemption. Only county fees will be waived at this time, meaning that qualifying residents in the unincorporated areas of the county, as well as the town of Hillsborough, will have no fee for sterilized, vaccinated pets.
Qualifying pet owners inside the Chapel Hill and Carrboro town limits, however, will have the $10 county fee waived, but will still be responsible for the additional $3 town fee that these municipalities charge for those pets.
Both towns are set to review whether they too will waive their fees for sterilized and vaccinated pets belonging to those on public assistance, county officials said.
To take advantage of this exemption, payments must be made in person or by mail, as proof will need to be supplied at the time of payment. For more information, go to the Animal Services online at orangecountync.gov/departments/animalservices or call 919-942-PETS (7387).
Animal Services Director Bob Marotto noted that county residents receiving public assistance already qualify for no-cost spay and neuter surgeries for their pets, so there should be no barrier to these pet owners qualifying for the county licensing exemption.
Department spokeswoman Andi Morgan said the exemption also encourages pet owners to protect their pets against rabies. Orange County has had seven confirmed cases this year.
The county’s next low-cost Rabies Vaccination Clinics will take place:
Thursday, September 24, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the River Park Farmers’ Market Pavilion, located at 140 E Margaret Lane in Hillsborough. Only cash will be accepted for this clinic.
Saturday, September 26, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Animal Services Center, located at 1601 Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill. Microchips will also be available at this clinic for $25.
The cost for rabies vaccinations is $10. Clinic dates for the rest of 2015 are posted at orangecountync.gov/AnimalServices/rabies.asp
Orange County recorded 23 rabies cases last year, nearly twice the number from the two previous years which had 12 positive cases each.
Orange County Dog Swim
The county’s 11th annual dog swim will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13, at the A.D. Clark Pool, at Hargraves Community Center, 216 N. Roberson St. in Chapel Hill. Dogs $5; people free. Dogs must be current on vaccinations and on a leash to enter.