On a 4-1 vote Tuesday, the Clark County council approved an increase to pet licensing fees, the first time since 2004 that the county has asked pet owners to pay more money to cover the cost of animal control services.The increased fees are expected to generate about $237,000 over the next two years and will better fund the county’s beleaguered animal control services, allowing it, among other things, to hire an additional officer.Under the new fee structure, the license fee for a spayed or neutered dog will increase from $16 to $25. Fees for spayed or neutered cats will increase from $10 to $20. For dogs that haven’t been spayed or neutered, the increase will be from $40 to $50. For cats that haven’t been spayed or neutered, the increase is from $20 to $40.The increase kicks in Feb. 1 and affects pet owners in Vancouver, Yacolt and unincorporated Clark County. Discounts for low-income households and people over 65 will still be offered. Not licensing a pet carries a $100 fine.“It’s always a struggle when we talk about licensing fees for pets,” Councilor Jeanne Stewart remarked during the hearing.In November, the council, faced with a budget gap for animal control services, discussed raising the fees. Paul Scarpelli, county animal protection and control manager, told the council at the time that Clark County’s fees are lower than comparable or nearby counties and weren’t keeping pace with increased demand.