Animal welfare groups: State fees are too high

Three animal welfare groups last week asked the state agriculture department to “abolish a newly proposed tax on nonprofit animal shelters and rescue organizations in Missouri.”

But the department said the fees were set by the Legislature, so they must be followed.

The three groups — ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), The Humane Society of the United States and Best Friends Animal Society — sent their letter last Friday, Sept. 30, asking the agriculture department to provide a license fee hardship exemption for non-profit shelters and rescues.

The new license fee and per-animal fee on every dog or cat adopted out could cost already cash-strapped shelters and rescue organizations as much as $2,500 per year, the groups claimed.

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