Kennel costs still hound Montcalm County officials

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 10:28 am on Friday, January 15, 2016

Dog kennel licenses and individual dog licenses can be purchased at the Montcalm County Treasurer’s Office inside the Montcalm County Administrative Building (old courthouse) in Stanton. Visit online to read the county’s dog ordinance. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

STANTON — Montcalm County officials continue to work to strike the right note when it comes to dog kennel regulations.

On Monday, the county’s Law Enforcement & Courts Committee approved making changes to the county’s dog law enforcement ordinance and sending it back to committee for review in February before recommending the changes to the full Board of Commissioners.

The committee had previously considered eliminating the county’s dog kennel option altogether due to years of complaints and concerns about kennel restrictions. However, Commissioner Betty Kellenberger of Carson City reported on Monday that the county is required by law to offer kennel licenses.

Animal Control Director Angie Hollinshead is now proposing a slight fee increase for kennel costs to help close the cost gap between kennel licenses and individual dog licenses.

Anyone with three or more dogs can qualify for a kennel license. The current cost for a kennel with 10 dogs or less is $70, a significant savings over individual dog licenses which would be at least $200 for 10 individual dogs.

“There’s still a (cost) gap, but it’s not as big as it was,” Hollinshead said. “Most of our kennels are in the 20 to 50 dog range anyway.”

Hollinshead also proposed making exceptions for certain kennel dogs.

“We do have several kennel customers that have hunting dogs that like to keep their dogs outside in a fenced-in area because they’re cold hardy and they’re supposed to be kept cold hardy,” she noted.

The committee approved making changes to the ordinance and sent the ordinance back to be reviewed in committee again in February before submitting the proposed changes to the full Montcalm County Board of Commissioners.

The Board of Commissioners will next meet at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Montcalm County Administrative Building in Stanton.

The county’s dog ordinance can be read in full at online.

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