Fewer clinic visits, pet registrations causes revenue dip at RICO Animal Care & Control

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Revenue is down at Rock Island County Animal Care and Control. The department might have to dip into the county’s general fund for the first time in five years.

County Auditor April Palmer said revenue is down so far this fiscal year by $19,000 compared to the same period in the last fiscal year. 

“Unfortunately at this time it just hit the animal control shelter that their revenues aren’t up to par,” Palmer said.

The revenue comes from adoptions, clinic services and registration fees. The department can usually operate off that money alone, but this year it will need help if the trend continues.

Shelter operations manager Samantha Deyoung said not as many people are coming to the clinic or registering their dogs and cats. 

Palmer said revenue from registrations and the clinic are only about half of what they were at this point last fiscal year and expenses are about $25,000 more than what the shelter is making.

Deyoung said she thinks people aren’t registering because they don’t think they have to. 

“Everybody thinks, ‘Oh I have a three-year rabies vaccine. I’m covered,'” Deyoung said. 

However, the tag that comes with that vaccine has to be renewed every year. If you don’t, you’ll hurt more than just the shelter’s bottom line. 

“If you don’t have them registered, you could be fined if your dog was out running at large, or your dog bit someone or for not having a current rabies vaccine and a current vaccination,” Deyoung said. 

She also thinks the rough winter season kept people out of their clinic.

“We would have people schedule their appointment and then not show up,” Deyoung said.

The department does have budgeted money in the general fund, but Deyoung hopes things turn around in the next few months so that money remains untouched.

“We try very hard not to try to take any money from the general fund,” she said. “I know the general fund doesn’t have a lot to give.”

Overall this fiscal year revenue in the general fund has totaled about $2.5 million. Expenses have doubled that at more than $5 million.

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