By Keith Regan, Contributing Writer
Westborough – Seniors over the age of 70 and disabled veterans will no longer have to pay to license their dogs, after selectmen approved a policy change at their Dec. 9 meeting.
The board voted 3-0 (member Tim Dodd was not present) to waive licensing fees for seniors over the age of 70 as well as disabled veterans.
Selectmen Chair George Barrette brought the idea forward after reading about a similar program in Spencer.
“No one is going to get rich not paying dog fees, but every little bit helps,” Barrette said.
Barrette emphasized that those who qualify will still be required to obtain licenses for their pets annually from the Town Clerk’s office and provide proof of rabies vaccines. The fees of $15 for a neutered dog and $20 otherwise will be waived for those who qualify by showing proof of age or qualification as a disabled veteran.
With about 100 seniors over 70 who currently have licensed dogs and 41 legally designated disabled veterans, the town stands to lose about $2,100 in fees annually, Barrette said in his proposal to board.
“It’s hard to believe we’ll be able to find the $2,000 in a $90 million budget, but I have a feeling we can find a way,” said Selectman Denny Drewry.
The change takes effect Thursday, Jan. 1.