Thousands of dogs and cats are waiting to be adopted at Maryland's shelters, but your lawmakers in Annapolis want to give them a new "leash" on life.
"I have introduced a bill that gives citizens of Maryland a $100 tax credit who adopt a cat or a dog from an animal shelter," says Del. Glen Glass, (R) - District 34A.
Glass is sponsoring House Bill 371. It's received a lot of support so far, with 45 delegates co-sponsoring it.
"Delegate Glen Glass came to me with the bill, and I've adopted a dog, so I thought it was a great idea. It costs a lot of money to adopt an animal, and obviously we want to encourage more people to adopt pets. Unfortunately, we know some of them are put to sleep if they don't find good homes," says Del. Michael Hough, (R) - Frederick and Washington Counties.
Those with Frederick County Animal Control say they put down 2,600 animals in 2012.
"I applaud those who are sponsoring this bill that that incentive becomes a reality, thus more people visit a shelter, and as more people visit, more animals are going to get adopted," says Harold Domer, director of Frederick County Animal Control.
Hough adopted his Beagle "Scout" nine years ago from the Frederick County Animal Control and Adoption Center and hopes the tax credit could encourage more people to adopt pets like Scout.
"It costs the state money, and it costs the counties money to have these animals in shelter, so it's going to help save the state money to help these animals find homes," Hough says. "It's a good bill, and it's a good thing to encourage adoption. I think it's something everyone's for."
Lawmakers hope the bill can help more animals find good homes.
About five to seven million shelter animals are euthanized across the country every year.
"I believe that sometimes people need a little incentive to go to a shelter and adopt a dog, and I hope and pray that this bill will help people make that decision," Glass says.
The bill will be heard in committee on February 26th. You can read it by clicking here.