Lake County looking into fining owners who don't register pets

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LAKE COUNTY, Fla. —

Lake County leaders said pet owners are costing the county $500,000 a year because 93 percent of pet owners don’t license their pets.

The mandatory registration and $5 fee that goes with it has been on the books in Lake County for more than 30 years, but some pet owners who talked with WFTV don’t believe the registration is a great idea.

An audit showed low compliance is causing Lake County to miss out on the yearly revenue.

“I think most people don’t even know it's required,” said dog owner David Honaker.

To change that, Lake County is considering contracting a company to compile names and addresses of pet owners from veterinarians. 

Owners that aren’t registered would get a warning letter in the mail. Then, if the owner doesn’t sign up and pay, it would result in a $150 fine.

 “As part of being a responsible pet owner, there are certain things that are required,” said Marjorie Boyd of Lake County Animal Service.

The company would also get a cut of the revenue for its efforts.