For special promotions, the cost of adopting an animal from the Anne Arundel County animal shelter could be waived, thanks to a unanimous vote by the County Council on Tuesday.
Alan Friedman, the county's government relations director, said the legislation will encourage more adoptions in the county.
"This will hopefully find good homes for our pets, as well as reduce the number of animals that have to be euthanized," Friedman said. "And the fiscal impact is very minimal."
The average cost of animal adoption, including spaying and neutering, from county shelters is $36, and can generate up to $340,000 annually. For special events, the new legislation authorizes the police department, which oversees animal control, to waive this fee.
Robin Small, the director of the county's animal shelter, said since the waiving would be done only for special promotions, the fiscal impact would be $50,000.
Frank Caesar Branchini of Maryland Votes for Animals said these promotions are proven ways to increase the rate of adoptions. He cited events at three shelters in Baltimore that more than doubled the rate of adoptions of cats.
The Anne Arundel County Animal Shelter is located in Millersville. For more information on the shelter, and also to look up pictures of the pets of the week, visit its website.