Orange County's animal shelter is nearly full with stray and homeless pets this summer, prompting local officials to reduce adoption fees to $10 or waive them in some cases.
The shelter is almost at capacity with 539 dogs and cats, as well as 102 animals in foster homes, according to a news release
. The population spike is largely due to the breeding season, which peaks during the summer months. Usually, the shelter gets an average of 50 dogs and cats per day, but that number can double during the summer.
"Elevated shelter populations place a considerable strain on resources, as well as space at shelters like OCAS, which is the county’s only open admission shelter – meaning they do not turn away any dog or cat," Orange County Animal Services says in a statement. "With the need to balance the health and well-being of hundreds of animals every single day, ensuring that the shelter remains just a temporary safe haven before an animal finds a loving home is mission critical."
OCAS says in an effort to increase adoptions, staff has already vaccinated, spayed and neutered many of the available pets. Animals that have been at the shelter for more than 10 days are currently being featured on the agency's social media pages, and adoptions fees for those pets have been waived.
"OCAS remains a safe haven for all animals," a statement says. "Officials still want to remind individuals no longer able to care for a dog or cat to please exhaust all efforts to find the animal a permanent and loving home prior to surrendering to Orange County Animal Services."
OCAS's shelter is located at 2769 Conroy Road in Orlando. You can look at Orange County's adoptable dogs
online at the county website, or look through Orlando Weekly
of pets currently at the shelter. For more information, visit the OCAS website here