ORLANDO, Fla. – There are around 6.3 million pets in animal shelters across the country every year, according to the ASPCA — 3.1 million dogs and 3.2 million cats.
Saturday is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, a day to raise awareness about the millions of pets waiting in shelters for a human to take them home.
We asked the county shelters in Central Florida to tell us about their longest shelter residents. All of these cats and dogs are looking for homes.
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Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services
Brevard County’s sheriff’s office runs the county’s shelter. The sheriff’s office did not share a longtime resident at the shelter, but they did provide some facts.
There are currently 216 animals at the shelter
They rescued 5,477 animals in 2021
The county is in need of volunteers and fosters to help out.
Currently, adoptions are free at the shelter, and include spay/neuter, microchip, vaccinations, county license tag and free medical insurance through Trupanion with every approved adoption application.
Flagler Humane Society
Meet Dougie and Maru.
Dougie is a terrier/pit bull/mastiff mix who has been at the Flagler Humane Society shelter since October 2021. He’s almost three years old.
Maru is a two-year-old female shorthair cat who has been at Flagler Humane since March.
Flagler Humane Society in Palm Coast currently has 339 animals at its shelter, and has been at capacity at least three times this year.
For National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, adoptions are free for any animal who has been at the shelter at least 90 days.
The shelter said it is most in need of adopters and donations. If you would like to adopt, head to the Flagler Humane Society website.
Lake County Animal Services
Wilbur has been at the Lake County Animal Shelter for more than 500 days. He was supposed to be adopted last month, but the adoption fell through. Wilbur is a 6-year-old American bulldog mix who came into the shelter with injuries consistent with being hit by a car. He has since recovered, though shelter officials say his head perpetually tilts.
The shelter currently has 150 dogs, 75 cats and two goats looking for homes. Shelter officials say they have more dogs than usual.
The shelter says they are in need of foster families to help with kitten season, and volunteers to spend extra time with the animals at this no-kill shelter. They also need to adopt.
From Friday through Sunday, adoption fees are waived.
To check out the adoptable animals, volunteer or foster, head to the Lake County Animal Shelter.
Marion County Animal Services
Pancho has been with Marion County Animal Services for more than 400 days. The shelter believes the mixed-breed dog is about 5 years old.
Pancho is one of 172 dogs currently at the shelter, along with 77 cats. Marion County officials say they’ve already reached capacity several times this year.
“We would love people to consider adopting a pet for its personality and not for looks. Many people have a vision of the pet that they want, so they walk past pets (especially dogs) who are much better suited for their lifestyle and energy level,” said Roger Waddell, spokesperson for Marion County Animal Services. “Adoption is not only about rescuing an animal from homelessness, but it’s about happiness for the pet and the family. Our staff knows the pets, so if an adopter is willing to rely on us to make suggestions, there is an increased chance for long-term success.”
Waddell says adoption fees at Marion County Animal Services have been temporarily waived.
If you would like to adopt, head to the Marion County Animal Services website to see adoptable pets.
If you can’t adopt, the shelter says you can donate through their Amazon wishlists.
Orange County Animal Services
Gambit has been at Orange County Animal Services 91 days. He’s sadly a shelter return. He came to the shelter as a puppy, was adopted, then his family gave him to new owners who then lost their home. He likes a home with lots of toys and can be with other dogs, provided they aren’t too jumpy.
The shelter currently has 221 residents and are often at capacity because of hoarding cases, confiscations for cruelty and animal surrenders.
Shelter officials say they are in need of volunteers and fosters to help animals decompress and spend time away from the shelter.
According to its website, adoption fees are $20 through the month of April for all pets. Adoption fees are also waived for first responders and veterans. Starting in May they are doing an $11 adoption promotion in honor of the show “Stranger Things.”
Not sure if a pet is right for you? The shelter has a new sleepover program that lets you try a pet in your home for up to two weeks.
Head to the Orange County Animal Services website to see adoptable pets, or to volunteer or foster.
Osceola County Animal Services
Jagger is one of the longest residents at Osceola County Animal Services. This two-year-old mixed breed is a high-energy dog that prefers fetch to cuddling. They need an active owner and any other animals in the home would need to be able to handle his energy. The shelter says a home with older children would be better.
Jagger is one of 50 dogs at Osceola County Animal Services. They have at least 52 cats as well, along with four horses and a rabbit. The shelter has come close to capacity at least once this year.
The shelter says it’s also in need of volunteers and fosters, especially since it’s kitten season. They also could use financial donations to help pay for things like veterinary care.
Longtime pets only cost $10 to adopt. Military personnel and first responders can get half off the adoption fee. Seniors over 55 years old can also adopt senior pets for half off the adoption fees.
To adopt, sign up to foster or volunteer, or donate, head to the Osceola County Animal Services website.
Seminole County Animal Services
Aries and Athena are two of the longtime residents at Seminole County Animal Services. Aries is an 8-year-old dog and has been at the shelter since June of 2021. Athena the cat is a year old and has been at the shelter since March.
Shelter officials say there are 166 animals in the shelter and 75 in foster care. They’re in need of volunteers, fosters and donations to help shelter residents, especially since they are in the midst of kitten season.
For National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, all dogs at Seminole County’s animal shelter are $20 to adopt and all cats are $10. They include spaying or neutering, microchipping and shots.
To see adoptable pets, to volunteer, to foster or to donate supplies, head to the Seminole County Animal Services website.
Sumter County Animal Services
Noah may be the longest shelter resident in Central Florida. This 2-year-old American Staffordshire has been at Sumter County Animal Services since March of 2021. Noah prefers to be the only animal in the home.
Noah is one of 80 dogs at the shelter, which also has 19 cats in residence. The shelter says it has been at capacity every day this year.
To meet Noah and the other adoptable pets at the shelter, head to the Sumter County Animal Services website.
Halifax Humane Society (Volusia County)
Spike and Ruffles are the longest residents at Halifax Humane Society in Volusia County. Spike is currently in foster care, where he is thriving on leash skills and interacting with other dogs. He’s been with the shelter for over 160 days. Ruffles came in as a stray and is seven years old. Shelter officials say Ruffles has been with them for over 70 days and is very shy, which means he tends to push people away when they try to interact with him.
Halifax Humane is contracted with the local governments, and shelter officials say even when they run promotions to clear the kennels, they fill back up with stray, lost, abandoned and seized animals. They currently have 232 animals at the shelter and 107 in foster care.
The shelter is in need of fosters and volunteers to work with the animals and also help run community events.
Right now all dog adoptions are 50% through the end of April, with another promotion happening in May.
If you would like to adopt, foster or volunteer with the Halifax Humane Society, head to the Halifax Humane Society website.
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