Fee Waivers Offered to Encourage Animal Adoptions
Faced with an abundance of dogs, cats and rabbits filling cages, the OC Animal Shelter will begin waiving fees for pets being adopted by residents from across Orange County after the waivers were approved by the Board of Supervisors and the shelter’s city partners.
Regular adoption fees – with the exception of a $27 charge for rabies licenses – will be waived beginning Thursday, November 3, until capacity at the shelter drops below 60%.
“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.
The waivers were approved by the Board of Supervisors on October 25 but implementation was slightly delayed pending technical adjustments to the shelter’s fee system. The waiver calls for fees to be waived whenever the shelter’s capacity exceeds 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.
“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 last 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. “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.” said OC Animal Care Director Jennifer Hawkins, DVM.
For more information about the OC Animal Shelter, please visit: http://ocgov.com/gov/occr/animal/