OC Animal Care allowed to waive adoption fees to reduce overcrowding

- The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted today to allow OC Animal Care to waive adoption fees for pets being adopted in unincorporated areas in an attempt to reduce overcrowding in the shelters.

"We hope that by waiving adoption fees, this will provide an additional incentive for the swift and responsible adoption of shelter animals,'' said Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Lisa Bartlett.

For animals retrieved from unincorporated areas, a fee waiver will be in effect through Monday or until shelter capacity drops below 80 percent, according to Jean Pasco, public information manager for Orange County.

"The county is dedicated to helping animals find good homes and this is one small way we can help to do that,'' Supervisor Michelle Steel said.

OC Animal Care will be working with its partner cities to implement the waiver for animals from all jurisdictions as soon as possible, Pasco said. "When it comes to finding families for pets, the county should be innovative and proactive,'' Supervisor Todd Spitzer said. "We want to save as many animals as possible by finding permanent homes for our adoptable animals.''

The shelter has been hovering at around 95 percent capacity for the last several weeks, according to Pasco.

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, Pasco said.

The facility has been housing between 575 and 630 animals, about 200 more than even the busiest times of the year, Pasco added.

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. "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.''

More information about the OC Animal Shelter is available at ocgov.com/gov/occr/animal/.

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