Supervisors Support Fee Waiver to Encourage Animal Adoptions
Faced with an abundance of dogs, cats and rabbits filling space at the OC Animal Shelter, the Board of Supervisors has voted to allow OC Animal Care to waive adoption fees for pets being adopted in unincorporated areas, with plans to expand countywide.
“We hope that by waiving adoption fees, this will provide an additional incentive for the swift and responsible adoption of shelter animals to prevent overcrowding and provide them with loving new homes,” said Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District.
For animals retrieved from County unincorporated areas, a fee waiver will be in effect through October 31 or until such time as shelter capacity drops below 80%. “The county is dedicated to helping animals find good homes and this is one small way we can help to do that,” stated Vice Chair Michelle Steel, Second District.
OC Animal Care will be working with its partner cities to implement the waiver for animals from all jurisdictions as soon as possible. “When it comes to finding families for pets, the County should be innovative and proactive. We want to save as many animals as possible by finding permanent homes for our adoptable animals,” commented Supervisor Todd Spitzer, Third District.
The shelter has been hovering at around 95% capacity for the last several weeks. Much of the animal influx was due to the impounding of 200 rabbits seized from a home earlier this month—about 150 of which remain at the shelter. The facility has been housing between 575 and 630 animals, which is about 200 more than even the busiest times of the year.
Supervisor Andrew Do said that the fee waiver program represents a win for the County and pet owners. “This fee waiver program is a win-win scenario,” said Supervisor Do, First District. “We are reducing the county’s animal shelter costs, while making it easier for families to adopt a new pet.”
Supervisor Shawn Nelson, Fourth District, cited the importance of this action. “Our mission is to have these animals adopted so we must find a balance between the need for funding and finding these animals a home,” he said.
OC Animal Care is encouraging animal lovers to permanently adopt or temporarily foster a shelter pet. “We are counting on the community to help us and the animals in our care,” said OC Animal Care Director Jennifer Hawkins, DVM. “Staff and volunteers from all departments are chipping in to help provide care to these animals but what they really need is a loving home.”
For more information about the OC Animal Shelter, please visit: http://ocgov.com/gov/occr/animal/