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$50 deposit for unaltered, impounded pets

SHARE $50 deposit for unaltered, impounded pets

Beginning July 1, Salt Lake County Animal Services will begin charging a $50 deposit for the return of any impounded dogs or cats that are not spayed or neutered.

The deposit will bring the agency into compliance with a pet sterilization bill passed by the 1998 Legislature. The fee is in addition to regular impound, boarding and license fees that may apply.The legislation applies to all Utah animal shelters that serve a population of 40,000 or more residents. The deposit will be returned to pet owners if they provide proof that their animal has been sterilized within 30 days after being impounded.

If a pet owner refuses or neglects to have an animal sterilized, the deposit fee will revert to a fund to help other pet owners get their animals spayed or neutered.

Officials encourage pet owners to have their animals sterilized before the legislation becomes law or be certain that their pets cannot get out of their yard. County animal services employees say they suspect that once the law goes into effect, more pet owners will abandon their lost animals at the shelter to avoid paying the deposit fee.