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OWNERS OF DOGS AND HORSES IN SEVIER OPPOSE HIGHER FEES

Owners of dogs and horses are howling about increased fees in Sevier County.

While dog kennel fees in unincorporated areas of the county remain at $25, the county is now charging $15 for each unaltered dog and $10 for an altered animal. The County Commission also levied a license fee of $50 for commercial dog breeders.Fees for additional dogs brought the most objections at a recent commission meeting. Owners argued the additional fee for each dog should be included in the original kennel licensing.

Commissioners adopted the schedule following a meeting of mayors of cities that contract with the county for animal control.

Members of the fairgrounds committee are considering a request by horse breeders to charge an extra $1 or $2 per stall for horses kept at the fairgrounds.The increase would pay for removal of manure from the stalls, which is now the responsibility of the owners of the animals.

But some horse breeders feel they are paying more than their fair share now. "We are paying the bulk of every expense (at the facility)," said David Jensen, president of an association of horse breeders. The fee has been $15. Private breeders and owners keep 57 horses at the grounds.

Commissioner Gene Mendenhall suggested an inventory of needed improvement in the stalls and at the barn. Because owners of the animals claimed they are the primary users of the race track and nearby barns, Mendenhall said another member of the group should be appointed to the 14-member grounds committee. Only one person represents horse interests.

The committee will determine the final fee schedule.