A PASSIONATE greyhound owner for 30 years, Keith Pearson doesn't just love his dogs when they're out on the track winning races, he continues to nurture them long after they've retired.
But his love comes at a significant cost - and it's only getting worse.
Due to the animal welfare policy adopted by state and local governments in an effort to discourage excessive dog breeding, the registration fees for non-desexed dogs has skyrocketed to $165 in Ipswich in the last 12 months, an increase of $30 per dog.
Mr Pearson said it was now getting to the point where it was difficult for an ordinary working person to get their pets registered if they were not willing or able to get them desexed.
Mr Pearson's greyhounds, named Bella and Blaze, are former racing dogs that he now keeps as pets.
"I think it's fair enough to have registration fees and to charge a bit more if they aren't desexed," Mr Pearson said.
"I would be happy to pay $60-$100.
"But it has cots me $330 for my two dogs this year, and that's $60 more than last year.
"To me it looks like a revenue grab."
Ipswich City Council health, security and regulatory services spokesperson Sheila Ireland said the registration fees were not a cash grab, but an incentive for dog owners to do the right thing.
The fee for registering a desexed dog is comparitively miniscule, at $35.
"It is cheaper in the long-run to get your dogs desexed," Cr Ireland said.
"The reason we do this is to reduce the numbers of unwanted pups.
"The State Government has recently passed new rules on dogs being sold and given away. It's council that has to do the paper work and the follow-up and field all the phone calls, so that's why we encourage it."
On May 26 this year, the State Government introduced new laws requiring all new puppies being sold, given away, supplied or advertised to have a breeder identification number, known as a Supply Number.
The RSPCA welcomed the initiative, saying it would help to reduce the scourge of illegal puppy farms.
But the laws were met with scepticism by some ethical breeders, who argued the cowboys would not be deterred.
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