Animal Services of Reykjavík report of the estimated 10,000 dogs in the city, only 2,500 owners pay the legal registration fee.
In a statement to RÚV, Þorkell Hreiðarsson, director of Animal Services, said: “We lowered the fee by about half two years ago, when Animal Services of Reykjavík City was founded.” Because animal services in Reykjavík are entirely funded by animal registration fees, Þorkell claims the unwillingness to pay is particularly problematic.
In total, Animal Services is funded with some 30 million ISK [$214,000; €200,000]. Services provided include running a kennel for stray dogs and responding to residential noise complaints.
“Ideally, the more people who pay the fees, the more these same fees will decrease,” Þorkell continued.
Registration fees for dogs in Iceland total ISK 15,700 [$112; €105] at the time of writing. Þorkell also believes that many dog owners in Reykjavík may avoid paying their registration fee because the process was once complicated and involved unnecessary paperwork. Now, according to Þorkell, dogs can be registered at the online portal island.is, where Icelandic residents already take care of many bureaucratic tasks. Hopefully, the new convenience will encourage more and more dog owners to pay into the system.
Dog owners in Reykjavík who attend behaviour classes with their animal are also eligible to receive a discount on their registration.
There are, of course, those who simply don’t want to pay. Regarding this unwillingness, Þorkell points out the unfairness of the situation. Because animal services in the city are intended for the entire community, those who pay are, in effect, subsidising the unwilling.