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Newton County Animal Shelter increases adoption fees to help cover sterilization costs
planned pet hood
Cynthia Wiemann, director of Newton County's animal shelter, loads a dog into the Planned PEThood's transport van on Wednesday, June 26. The dog will be transported to PEThood's Duluth clinic to be spayed/neutered. - photo by Caitlin Jett

COVINGTON, Ga. - Newton County Animal Shelter will increase animal adoption fees by $30 starting Monday, July 29. The new adoption fees will be $75 for dogs and $60 for cats.

On Tuesday, July 23, Cynthia Wiemann, director of the animal shelter, and Elizabeth Burgner, director of Planned PEThood of Georgia, stood in front of the Newton County Board of Commissioners requesting an increase in pet adoption fees to help cover the cost of sterilization. Planned PEThood recently used the remaining funds from the $5,000 awarded by Maddie’s Fund, which helped sterilize 107 animals in Newton County.

“Spaying and neutering is key in keeping the animal population down,” Burgner said.

Planned PEThood was awarded another grant for $48,000 from Best Friends Animal Society,  a no-kill animal rescue and advocacy nonprofit organization, to help sterilize more animals at the Newton County Animal Shelter. The grant will be used to assist with the sterilization of adopted or reclaimed animals from the Newton County Animal Shelter. However, the grant does not cover the entire cost of sterilization and will require a $40 copay.

To help cover the copay, funding will come from the increased adoption fees and profits received from microchip services.

Currently, the animal shelter profits from microchip sales, according to Wiemann. The microchip costs the animal shelter $10, and the pet adopters or reclaimers are charged $20 by the animal shelter for the microchip services. 

Even though the adoption fee will increase, Newton County will remain competitive with surrounding counties, according to Burgner. Burgner stated that Planned PEThood and the Newton County Animal Shelter conducted a study that showed the county fell $3 below the average in comparison with surrounding counties that provided similar services.

Newton County Animal Shelter will also increase the euthanasia fee by $10 to help cover labor costs. The new euthanization fee will be $50 for a dog or puppy and $40 for a cat or kitten.

The increased euthanasia fee will still be “considerably less than any veterinarian would charge,” Wiemann said.

Newton BOC unanimously voted to increase the adoption and euthanization fee during the July 23 meeting.