Media Contact:

Orange County Animal Services Waives Adoption Fees for All Shelter Dogs, Announces Birthday Party for Longest Resident Gandalf

Asks Community for Help as More Than 230 Dogs Await Placement

Orange County Animal ServicesOrange County, Fla. – Since reopening for the New Year on Tuesday, January 2, Orange County Animal Services has received 196 dogs. On Sunday, January 7 alone, 55 dogs were admitted to the shelter near the Mall at Millenia.

The shelter is now caring for more than 200 dogs and asking for the community to step forward to adopt, foster, or attempt to reunite found dogs with their owners before resorting to bringing them to the shelter. All dog adoption fees have been waived effective immediately and through Sunday, January 14.

“This is a challenging time of year for us as most people aren’t in a position to adopt around the holidays, money is tight, people are travelling and spending time with family,” said Diane Summers, manager for Orange County Animal Services. “Unfortunately, while adoption interest may dwindle around the holidays, our intake does not.”

Among the more than 200 dogs in the shelter’s care are some pets that have been waiting for months to land a home, like Gandalf (A418154) who initially arrived on August 23, 2023. The shelter is celebrating Gandalf’s sixth birthday on Saturday, January 13, 2024 and hosting an event in his honor.

“Gandalf is the perfect example of a great dog who has been overlooked for months,” said Summers. “He’s a volunteer favorite, friendly with people and plays well with other dogs. We’re throwing him a birthday party this Saturday to bring attention to him because he’s flown under the radar for far too long.”

Gandalf is approximately 60 pounds and available for immediate adoption, having been neutered, vaccinated and microchipped.

For Gandalf’s birthday party, he will be featured in the shelter’s front play yard, where guests will be able to interact with him directly and with ease. This is the fourth event of its kind that Animal Services has planned. Prior events Blue Diamond Day in May 2022, “Pick Nick” Saturday in March 2023 and Simoni and Crunch Day in December 2023 were all successful in helping the highlighted pets find adopters.

The shelter recently launched an intake diversion program aimed at providing resources to struggling pet owners and triaging cases where dogs need to be admitted. Due to the volume of pets already at the shelter, Animal Services has yet to be able to begin accepting these dogs. “The queue of people wanting to surrender their dogs continues to grow with each day,” said Summers.

Animal Services is asking residents to consider adopting and fostering. For those that have found a stray dog, the shelter is asking finders to first try to locate the owner.

About Orange County Government: Orange County Government strives to serve its residents 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, one of the nation’s largest convention centers 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 or go to Orange County Government’s social media channels.

Back To Top