Samantha Holsten, Orange County Government
Phone: 407-254-9249

Orange County Animal Services Sheltering in Place, Encouraging Pet Owners to Prepare Responsibly for Incoming Hurricane Dorian

Orange County, Fla. – Aug. 30, 2019 – Orange County Animal Services announced today it is closely monitoring Hurricane Dorian and is prepared to shelter in place. The shelter’s dogs and cats will be safely cared for by staff throughout the duration of the storm. Approximately 27 Animal Services staff will be serving Orange County during the storm, spread throughout the shelter, the Emergency Operations Center and the multiple evacuation centers.

“Each and every year we refresh our disaster preparedness plans so in the event of a storm we can deploy as many resources as needed to protect the animals of Orange County, including those of residents, evacuees and our shelter guests,” said Diane Summers, manager of Orange County Animal Services. “Staff will stay at the shelter through the duration of the storm, as we did during Hurricane Irma, to ensure the nearly 500 shelter pets in our care are safe and as comfortable as possible during this stressful time.”

With the shelter pets under watchful eyes, Animal Services is turning to pet owners and encouraging them to make similar plans. The shelter’s top tips for disaster preparedness are to:

  • Bring all pets inside.
  • Ensure pet microchip identification information is registered and current.
  • Gather essential supplies for your pet, enough to last at least several days.
  • Bring your pet(s) and all pet supplies with you if evacuating.
  • Prepare a pet disaster kit if anticipating evacuation.

Following the storm, Orange County Animal Services will be in urgent need of volunteer and foster parent support as a number of animals are expected to be displaced. Those interested in assisting can learn more about the foster care and volunteer programs online.

Residents who discover stray animals following the storm can call 3-1-1 for assistance.

“Animals are a part of the family so we implore pet parents to keep them in mind when making preparations,” said Summers. “Inevitably some pets are lost during every storm, if people make wise choices now we can hope to reduce that number significantly and keep these animals at home where they are safest.”

For more information on how to prepare your pet for a disaster, contact your veterinarian and visit www.ocfl.net/preparedpet.

About Orange County Government: Orange County Government strives to serve its citizens and guests with integrity, honesty, fairness and professionalism. Located in Central Florida, Orange County includes 13 municipalities and is home to world-famous theme parks, the nation’s second-largest convention center, and a thriving life science research park. Seven elected members make up the Board of County Commissioners including the Mayor who is elected countywide. For more information, please visit www.OCFL.net or go to the Orange County Facebook and Twitter pages.

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