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Science and the Environment

Animal Rescue Groups Often Struggle to Pay 'Pull Fees'

Animal rescue organizations in Springfield are required to pay so-called "pull fees" for each animal they rescue from the Springfield-Greene County Animal Control, traditionally known as "the pound." KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann has more on this fee, and the teamwork between the players in this field.

Vaccines and veterinary care cost money. There's an average of 50 dogs and 20 cats housed at the Animal Control facility at any given time, so that cost quickly adds up. This October, Animal Control celebrated its first full year of not having to euthanize any healthy, adoptable animals. Karen Prescott is a spokesperson for Animal Control. She says money to keep these animals healthy has to come from somewhere.

“Our rescue partners pay an $8, what we call a pull-fee, for each animal they take from our shelter. And that’s to help subsidize the vaccinations we give the animals, and the care they receive at our shelter,” Prescott says.

Many rescue groups like Halfway Home, Castaway Animal Rescue Effort (CARE), and numerous others, "pull," or take animals each week from Animal Control that would otherwise end up on so-called “death row.” Latichia Duffy is founder of Halfway Home.

“I’ll tell you that $8 pull fee is the best thing that ever happened. Prior to that, they [Animal Control] did not vaccinate animals at intake. However, it does cause hardship sometimes with the amount of animals that we pull, anywhere from 15 to 20 a week. And those really add up,” Duffy says.

Duffy says her animal rescue organization has not turned any animals away so far because of the group’s inability to pay the fees. She says she encourages public donations to cover the pull fee--even if it's just for one animal.

“I would like to see people, you know, get involved in any manner that they can. $8 is a very small token to save a life. They also get to name the dog when they pay the pull fee which is also really kind of cool,” says Duffy.

Karen Prescott with Animal Control says people wanting to donate pull fees have options. They can choose a particular animal to pay a fee for, pay a partial fee, or donate multiple fees.

“We do have on line the ability that they can go on with a credit card and pay for pull fees in $8 increments. They can pay for one pull fee or they can pay for multiple pull fees. And that really helps, not us necessarily, because we’re going to get that money from the rescues anyway. But it really helps the rescue. It just reduces their overall cost and helps them be able to pull and facilitate more adoptions of our animals,” says Prescott.

Click here to find out more about online pull fee donations or about Animal Control