Supervisors Support Fee Waiver to Encourage Animal Adoptions

The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.

Please note the following revisions to the October 25, 2016 Media Release (edits in italics)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 26, 2016

Contact: Jean Pasco

(714) 834-7218   jean.pasco@ocgov.com

 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.

The waiver will begin as soon as possible pending technical adjustments to the shelter’s fee system to accommodate animals being adopted by residents in the unincorporated areas. The plan is for the waiver to remain in effect until such time as shelter capacity drops below 60%.  “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. A resolution approved by the Board allows the fee waivers to be triggered whenever capacity exceeds 80%.

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/

NOTE:  We’ve discovered that it will take a bit longer to reconfigure the shelter’s fee collection system to accommodate the waivers. We’re working as quickly as possible but don’t want people to assume that the waivers will begin immediately; we’re working on it and will get it implemented as soon as we can. Again, please be aware that the waivers for now are for residents in unincorporated areas who are adopting shelter animals. We have begun the process of obtaining approvals to extend the waiver offer for those living in cities that partner with the shelter.

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