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Orange County Animal Services Prepares for Coronavirus Outbreak, Needs More Foster and Adoptive Parents

Adoption fees have been waived at Orange County Animal Services. Photo: Nine Köpfer @enka80

Orange County Animal Services is looking for foster and adoptive parents and limiting non-essential visits as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

Manager Diane Summers says they’re prepared for an increase in surrenders if people get sick or are laid off as businesses close.

She says they’ve already waived adoption fees for dogs and cats.

“We’re also really encouraging foster care. One of the best things about our program is that we provide the food, any necessary medication. So, really the foster parent just has to provide their time and love.”

Summers says there’s already a need for foster parents this time of year, as spring begins kitten season in Florida. 

Last weekend more than 70 animals were dropped off at the shelter, although none were abandoned for coronavirus-related reasons.

Dannielle Southon has fostered more than one hundred neonate kittens at the shelter in the past two years and will be picking up two more this afternoon. She says that people need to foster now more than ever. 

“Or if you can’t have them in your house, then see if you can donate or help out in other ways. But I think that actually getting fosters and getting animals into homes so that they’re less stressed. You know the medically critical ones can come out. That’s going to be so important in the next couple of weeks.”

Southon says pet-owners should have an emergency preparedness plan in place for themselves and their pets including pet food and medical supplies for at least two weeks.

If you’d like to listen to the story, click on the clips above.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »