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L.A. County animal shelters to discount holiday pet adoptions by $30 [Updated]

December 16, 2009 |  2:48 pm

The L.A. County Department of Animal Care and Control will temporarily reduce adoption fees to $30 this Saturday at all its shelters to encourage residents to adopt stray animals rather than buy pets as holiday gifts.

[Updated 4:54 p.m.: County officials said pet adoption fees at the Saturday-only event will be $30 for cats, dogs and rabbits. A previous post stated incorrectly that adoptions would be discounted by $30.  The adoption fee will include free microchip and spay/neuter surgery fees.  Also, beginning today and running through Monday, Los Angeles Animal Services, a city agency, will offer a 50% discount on pet adoptions, according to Michael Gilman of the Found Animals Foundation, which is hosting the two events.]

Shelters will open at 9 a.m. Saturday for a one-day Save-A-Stray for the Holidays event, said department spokeswoman Evelina Villa.

[Updated 4:57 p.m.: The adoption event will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday only. A prior version of this post reported incorrectly that the discount would remain in place until Christmas Eve.]

“About 90,000 animals per year end up in our shelters,“ Villa said. “We’re hoping instead of people going to irresponsible breeders, they’re going to come to us and help save a life.”

Adoption fees at most shelters average about $100 for dogs and $90 for cats. Prices for other animals vary from shelter to shelter, Villa said.

To help prevent owners from returning animals to shelters after the holidays, dozens of volunteers will be on hand Saturday to help people choose pets that best suit their lifestyles, Villa said.

Officials hope to adopt out a record number of animals in the Saturday event, which will be held at county shelters in Downey, Carson, Baldwin Park, Lancaster, Castaic, Agoura and Antelope Valley.

-- Ruben Vives