Osceola County Media Contact: Kim.Staton@OSCEOLA.ORG
Seminole County Media Contact: DGagliano@seminolecountyfl.gov
Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando Media Contact: email@example.com
Central Florida Animal Shelters at Capacity, Calling for Community Help
Orange County, Fla. – For the first time, Orange County Animal Services, Osceola County Animal Services, Seminole County Animal Services and the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando are sharing a unified message asking for support from Central Florida residents. Each shelter is near capacity with high intakes of homeless animals. One factor contributing to this challenge has been rising housing costs, as reported by Orange County Animal Services last month.
The shelters are urging residents to consider adopting, fostering or volunteering at any of their organizations and have a number of upcoming events, promotions and new programs to offer.
Orange County Animal Services currently has 603 animals under its umbrella of care, 359 physically at the shelter located adjacent to the Mall at Millenia in Orlando and another 229 in foster care. “It’s been a challenging summer for us and we fear we’re starting to sound like a broken record, repeating once again that we are near capacity and need community help,” said Diane Summers, manager for Orange County Animal Services. “We know we’re in a tough economic period, we’re seeing animals forced into homelessness daily as a result. For those in a position to help, we implore you to do so; there are multiple avenues to lend support and make an immediate difference in the lives of these animals.”
“Osceola County Animal Services has a capacity for care that ranges from 125-140 animals and we have found ourselves pushed beyond our maximum capacity many days this summer,” said Kim Staton, director for Osceola County Animal Services. “This number does not include animals in foster care that will at some point, come back to the shelter for spay/neuter, vaccinations, and adoption.”
Staton added, “We love our community and know that times are hard for many people. By working together, we can have a greater impact so if you can help a neighbor who may be struggling to care for a pet, consider lending them a hand. This act of kindness may keep a pet out of the shelter. Or, if you can help your local animal shelter by fostering, volunteering, adopting, or even just promoting animal shelter adoptions, your efforts will be appreciated.”
Osceola County Animal Services invites residents to learn more on its website and to call 407-742-8000 with any inquiries.
Seminole County Animal Services is caring for 345 animals between the shelter and foster care. “Historically we understand summers are usually not the best time for people to adopt with vacation plans etc., but coupled with the economy and housing issues shelters are feeling the squeeze,” said Diane Gagliano, program coordinator for the shelter. Seminole County Animal Services is located at 232 Eslinger Way Sanford and you can adopt Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. with extended hours on Wednesdays until 6:30 p.m. If you cannot adopt consider volunteering or fostering. Every aspect of animal sheltering thrives on the support from its community. To learn more visit www.SeminoleCountyPets.com
Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando currently has 250 animals in care between its shelter and foster homes and like other agencies is feeling the pinch of a busy summer. Safety net programs that Pet Alliance operates to help keep people and pets together are also experiencing an increase in demand. Rising housing costs and increased prices for goods and services are forcing people to look for affordable alternatives.
An average of 100 families per month are seeking free pet food via Pet Alliance’s Pet Food Pantry and demand for affordable veterinary care at its wellness clinics is up. “As a community, it is important that we work together to help animals and pet owners in need,” said Steve Bardy, executive director of Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando. “If you have the time and space to adopt or foster an animal, you can help relieve the pressure that local animal shelters are currently feeling. A donation of dog or cat food or a monetary gift will help ensure pet owners get the services they need to keep their pets with them. There are many ways you can help make a difference today for cats and dogs in Central Florida.”