The government has introduced a once-only allowance for those who adopt a pet from an animal sanctuary.
Parliamentary Secretary Clint Camilleri said €150 will be handed to those who adopt a cat or a dog from a licensed animal sanctuary. The aim, as outlined in the Labour electoral programme, is to encourage people to provide a home for strays.
He pointed out that many stray animals would have been previously abandoned by their owners and ended up in a sanctuary.
By adopting a pet from a sanctuary, people would be saving on the purchase price and also receiving the allowance, while giving the animal a home, he said.
The allowance will be given six months after the pet is adopted and after officials check that a good home is being provided. Surprise inspections may be made.
People with a record of animal cruelty will not be eligible for the scheme.
The allowance will be given for one pet only, adopted from a sanctuary licensed by the Directorate for Veterinary Services. Up to two pets may be adopted per household. The people who adopt them need to be over 18.
Dogs and cats have to be neutered once they are over four months.