Due to canine pneumovirus, Animal Services is temporarily suspending intake. More info here.

Surrendering a Pet

Animal Services is this community’s only open admission shelter. As a result, the shelter receives approximately 50 pets each day. While Animal Services makes every effort to find new homes for the shelter pets, there are more animals in need than there are available homes. This is known as the pet overpopulation problem.

The shelter should be the last resort for Orange County residents looking to rehome their owned pet. Animal Services can never guarantee that a pet will be adopted from the shelter, although every effort is made. In fiscal year 2022, more than 3,600 pets were surrendered to the shelter. Orange County pet owners are encouraged to explore the below alternatives before bringing their pet to Animal Services.

Phone a Friend

Before bringing the pet to the shelter, Animal Services recommends first contacting the owner’s network of friends and family members. Many times, those within the pet owner’s network may be able to take in the pet prior to relinquishment to a shelter. A plea on social media for assistance is also recommended.

Be sure to post your pet on NextDoor, local neighborhood social media sites and consider the following Facebook groups dedicated to rehoming:

Do you know of a rehoming social media site not listed above? Please share it with us by emailing AnimalServices@ocfl.net.

Attempt Rehoming

It’s ideal to rehome the pet without them having to enter the shelter, which is undoubtedly stressful. Plus, when you rehome your pet you have the confidence of knowing who is taking the animal into their home. Animal Services recommends asking a small rehoming fee, rather than exchanging the pet for free.

Thanks to websites like adoptapet.com, you can become your pet’s adoption agent, listing them and reviewing applications from suitors. Check out their rehoming site here: https://rehome.adoptapet.com/

Here are additional rehoming sites to consider:

Do you know of a rehoming site not listed above? Please share it with us by emailing AnimalServices@ocfl.net.

Consult Rescue Groups

There are many local pet rescue groups in the community which are able to take in owner surrendered pets. Most operate through a network of foster homes, rather than a physical shelter. This enables them to hold the animals for extended periods and best match them with the right adopter. Rescue groups are operated by volunteers so please allow some time for a response when contacting them. Here is a full list of the rescue groups that actively work with the shelter.

The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando is a local animal shelter that exclusively takes in surrendered pets. They operate on an appointment system so please contact them to schedule a get together to discuss the pet’s future.

Resolving Issues

There are community resources available to help owners overcome certain medical and/or behavior challenges. Please pursue the below options to the fullest extent before rehoming your pet.

Training Resources

Happy Trails Animal Rescue offers discounted training, especially for pets originating from shelters. More information here.

Medical Assistance Resources

Happy Trails Animal Rescue has information on obtaining low-cost veterinary care. More information here. 

Pet Food Assistance

Happy Trails Animal Rescue operates a pet pantry to assist low-income pet owners. More information here.

The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando offers a pet food pantry. More information here. 

The Center Orlando has a Pride Pantry that boasts groceries, hygiene products and occasionally pet food. More information here.

Grooming Resources

Happy Trails Animal Rescue offers discounted grooming services on a quarterly basis. More information here.

Surrendering to Animal Services

UPDATE on September 7, 2023: Animal Services has had a confirmed case of canine pneumovirus and is temporarily suspending intakes as a result. Please check back for a status on when Animal Services will resume accepting relinquishments.

If all alternatives have been explored and the pet owner is forced to surrender the pet, Animal Services is here to help. Orange County residents can surrender their owned pet at the facility with an appointment. Appointment-based pet intake is beneficial for the pet and for the community. It is a practice endorsed by the National Animal Care and Control Association.

Orange County residents must show proof that they live in Orange County and must be the owner of the animal. There is a fee of $15 per pet to help offset the cost of care. Please share any knowledge of the pet’s health, temperament, personality and background when surrendering. This will best enable Animal Services to match that animal with a forever home.

Surrendering for Humane Euthanasia

Animal Services provides humane euthanasia service to Orange County pet owners who are facing a pet that is suffering from advanced age, debilitating medical conditions and/or severe temperament issues. This service is provided at any point that Animal Services is open on a walk-in basis for $15 per pet. Owners are not able to be present with the pet when the procedure is performed. For those that wish to be present the shelter recommends contacting veterinarians for assistance.

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