by: Jason Kelly Updated:
ORLANDO, Fla. - Orange County Animal Services is trying to protect 500 animals from summer's immense heat without an air-conditioning system.
The building was never designed to house an AC system. The county decided in February that it would be too expensive to retrofit the building, so it opted to build a new shelter instead.
A ventilation system is being used in the meantime. The fans in the current building are needed, because Central Florida is in the middle of a six-week stretch that produces the year's warmest temperatures.
"It does provide relief and (makes it) a few temperatures degrees lower than (what) it would be otherwise," said Diane Summers, a shelter spokeswoman.
Workers are doing what they can to help keep the animals cool.
"Certain dogs are going to be predisposed to have issues with the heat -- those with short noses, those with heavy coats," Summers said. "So those are ones we are especially keeping an eye on."
Although the county plans to build a new air-conditioned facility, Summers said the shelter's animals would best be served through adoptions.
Fees have been lowered to $10 to make adoption more affordable. The cost includes a spaying/neutering surgery, vaccines and a microchip implantation.
Resident Michael Westberry visited the shelter Tuesday to adopt a dog.
"We got a dog over there picked out," he said. "Why go to a pet store when you can get a dog for 10 bucks and actually help one out here?"
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