Italy: Tax break offered for dog adoptions

A dog looking through the wire in a shelter Image copyright AFP
Image caption Man's best friend: Rehoming a dog can be good for the soul and the bank balance

Adopting a four-legged friend will bring tax benefits to residents of a town in Sicily, it's reported.

Councillors in Mascalucia, near the eastern city of Catania, have unanimously approved a plan to cut refuse taxes for people who give a dog from the local shelter a new home, La Sicilia website reports. Residents can get up to 50% off their rubbish-disposal bill under the new scheme, the website says. And it's not a one-time offer - discounts will continue for up to three years after an adoption is made.

The idea has also been mooted elsewhere in Italy over the past year, and it's hoped it could encourage more people to adopt and save the local authority money in the long run, says council member Alessio Cardi. The town spends about 150,000 euros ($169,000; £112,000) a year on looking after the stray and abandoned animals. But the scheme also has another benefit, Mr Cardi says: "To give a safe place to a little dog which, in all likelihood, will be able to shrug off the burden of a difficult past."

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