Orange County Animal Services at Capacity with More Than 200 Dogs, Sends Desperate Plea for Community Support
Orange County, Fla. – Orange County Animal Services (OCAS) currently has more than 700 animals under its umbrella of care, 383 physically at the shelter and an additional 319 in foster care. Yesterday alone the shelter received 114 animals, 40 of which were confiscated due to concerns for the poor living situation.
The shelter has previously reported on the increase of owner surrenders, primarily related to rising housing costs. In May, Animal Services received 361 pets from owners no longer able or interested in caring for them.
In response to the high volume of animals in the shelter’s care, Animal Services is urgently requesting the community’s support in a number of ways.
Residents that have found stray pets are encouraged to take steps to reunite them with the owner prior to bringing them to the shelter. “In the vast majority of circumstances, stray animals are less than two miles from their home,” said Diane Summers, manager for Animal Services. “Not every owner knows about or thinks to come to the shelter when their baby is missing. If the finder can take steps to reunite the pet with the owner, by checking for a microchip identification, posting the found pet on social media sites and sharing flyers in their area, it can help bring a family back together.” Additional steps on helping lost pets can be found on PetFinder’s site here.
Animal Services also encourages owners on the brink of having to surrender their pet to explore all options before resorting to the shelter. “We’re imploring pet owners to take every possible measure before surrendering to the shelter right now, that means reaching out to friends and family for help, reaching out to local rescue groups and trying to work through issues before giving up,” said Summers.
In order to help the animals currently housed at the shelter, Animal Services is urgently requesting adoption and foster support. “If anyone has been looking for a sign to adopt, this is it,” said Summers. “We have so many wonderful pets here deserving of a fresh start, we just need people to visit with an open mind and heart.”
Adoption fees for both dogs and cats are currently reduced to $25. Those interested in adopting are encouraged to check out the available pets on the shelter’s website here. More information on the adoption process can be found here. Additionally, the shelter is actively recruiting new members to its foster care program.