Stan Sherman of Onsted is not happy with the recent hike in dog licensing fees in Lenawee County. Not only that, Sherman believes local officials, in his case Cambridge Township officials, should do more to resist what he considers onerous taxes and fees handed down to the populace from county-level politicians.
Sherman is specifically irked at the cost for licensing dogs in Lenawee County. Last May the fee was hiked to $15 from December 1 to February for spayed or neutered dogs and $30 for unaltered dogs. After February, the (late) fee will be $30 for fixed dogs and $60 for unaltered. Sherman, who recently purchased three hunting dogs, paid $90 to license the pups. After February, it will cost $180.
“That is just ridiculous,” said Sherman, a straight-talker who loves to hunt. “But this is not just about me,” he said. “You get married . . . say you are 25 years old. You get a job, let’s say in construction. With the money you make, you can’t get a house, drive a car that will start every day and/or get you to work and back home, buy groceries and raise a child the way it is supposed to be raised and to raise a dog,” said Sherman. He said he believes that dogs are the pet of choice for many young people, and hiking the fees so dramatically only adds to their burden.
Sherman said that he believes the way the fees were hiked was done under the table, was poorly advertised, if advertised at all, and was done without a public hearing. He also noted that the penalties listed for not obeying the dog ordinance – violating the ordinance is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine up to $500 and the court costs and costs incurred by the Sheriff’s Department in enforcing the ordinance –are beyond ridiculous.
“That’s just plain horseshit,” said Sherman. He said he called the prosecuting attorney’s office to see if they would actually prosecute such a case, but said the conversation was fruitless.
Finally, Sherman approached the township board to see if they would take the matter up but was told it was not their business. “What does it take to be their business in that township? I think if it has anything to do with the people who put you in office, it is your business. You might not be able to settle it for them, but you could get some answers. All I asked for is a telephone call. That’s all.”
Sherman is well aware that township and county government are separately run, but said they might as well not be.“You couldn’t pry them apart with a crowbar,” he said. With the new fees, Lenawee County is the most expensive county in the four-county region for licensing a dog. See the comparison below.