ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County Animal Services celebrated adopting out one of its longtime shelter residents over the weekend, but is continuing to ask the community for help as it nears capacity.
The shelter said it is currently housing 174 dogs.
“Over the past couple of weeks we are overwhelmed with the number of dogs we have. We are currently at 175 dogs. That’s very high for us,” said Bryant Alameda with OCAS.
Shelter officials said between Oct. 18 and Oct. 24, the shelter received 109 dogs, including 34 that were surrendered by their owners.
“We just celebrated a massive victory here with Cano, our longtime shelter resident, finally landing a home on Saturday, but that joy has been short-lived as we face the overwhelming quantity of dogs still in our shelter, said Diane Summers, manager for Orange County Animal Services, in a statement.
Cano lived at the shelter for six months and was featured on billboards before he found his forever home this weekend.
Shelter officials said they have approximately 35 dogs currently available for immediate adoption, meaning they have already been spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped so they can leave immediately with their new families.
As kennel space is limited, the shelter is encouraging owners on the brink of surrendering to explore all alternatives before relinquishing their pet to the shelter. Alternatives include inquiring with friends and family, contacting local rescue groups and rehoming through online sites.
“Animal Services is the safety net for pets in need,” said Summers. “It’s definitely a troubling sign to see so many animals coming in, really stretching that safety net to its fullest.”