Harold Domer wouldn't mind seeing a drop in his business.
As the head of Frederick County's Animal Control division, Domer is in charge of the county's animal shelter, taking in dogs, cats and other animals whose owners are unable to care for them.
The shelter has recently seen a decrease in the number of cats it has been taking in, and in August had empty cages for the first time in 10 years, according to a county report.
Domer and his staff want to keep the number of cats down, so the department plans to apply for a grant through the Maryland-based Snyder Foundation for Animals that would allow it to provide money for spaying of female cats for county residents who can't afford the service, which typically costs between $50 and $70.
The Frederick County Board of Commissioners voted Thursday to approve the request for the grant of up to $10,000.
It would be the third year out of four that the department has gotten the grant, Domer said. They previously received it in 2010 and 2012.
In previous years, the county's Animal Control division got $5,000 each year. The maximum available is $10,000.
With cats able to have two to three litters per year, finding homes for all the kittens is difficult, said Connie Graf, director of the Frederick County Humane Society.
“There are just too many,” Graf said.
She said the society gets calls daily from people who have found a cat or litter of kittens, and refers the callers to Animal Control's shelter.
Spaying can make female cats better behaved, and cut down on their desire to wander off if they get outside, she said.
Cats can get pregnant when they're about 7 months old, but it's unhealthy for a cat that's still growing to have a litter of kittens, said Karen Dow, vice president of the Animal Welfare League of Frederick County.
She encouraged anyone who finds a litter of kittens to get them spayed or neutered.
Dow said her organization offers a monthly spay and neuter clinic at its office on 1202 E. Patrick St. in Frederick. The next event will be Oct. 12, with spots still available for both spaying and neutering.
The Humane Society of Frederick County is having a monthlong Quick Fix spaying and neutering event in September.
Domer said getting the grant would cut down on the number of kittens being born, and ultimately lead to fewer cats and kittens coming into the shelter.
In the county's most recent fiscal year, running from July 2011 through June 2012, the shelter took in 3,301 cats and kittens, compared to 3,177 the previous year and 3,237 the year before that.
In fiscal 2012, the county's shelter euthanized 2,171 cats and kittens, Domer said.