Orange County Government, Florida

Frequently Asked Questions

Shelter, adoptions, spay neuter, lost and found

Adoption Process

What are your hours of operation?

We are open for adoptions Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

What do I need to adopt a pet?

Please bring your driver’s license and your payment.

How much is it to adopt a pet?

Our dog adoption fee is $55 and our cat adoption fee is $40. We often have reduced adoption fees. To see our current adoption promotions please visit Promos and Events.

What is the adoption process, and what is included with the adoption of a pet?

The adoption process begins with you coming to the shelter and interacting with the pet you are interested in adopting. Then you complete an adoption application. Once your application is approved, you pay the adoption fee. After your pet has met the mandatory hold requirements, it will be ready to go home!

The following are included in the adoption of a pet:

  • Spay/neuter.
  • Initial vaccinations.
  • Microchip identification.
  • First deworming.
  • Heartworm check (dogs over 6 months old).
  • Feline leukemia and FIV test (cats).
  • Rabies vaccination and tag.
  • Bag of Science Diet dry food.
  • Adoption Welcome Kit.
  • Information on caring for your new pet.

Can I adopt an animal if I don’t live in Orange County?

Yes, you can adopt one of our animals if you live outside of the county. You will still need to provide a valid identification.

When can I expect to pick up my new pet?

Once your adoption is approved and the animal has met the mandatory hold requirements, your new pet is good to go. You’ll be notified on the day of its surgery and you will have 48 hours to pick up your pet. You can pick up between the hours of 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Can you assist with transporting my new pet?

Animal interaction is necessary prior to adoption approval. Orange County Animal Services is not able to assist with transporting animals. However, if you live out of town and are unable to visit the shelter, you may contact our rescue partners to see if they can help with transportation. Animal Services is partnered with more than 60 rescue partners. For more information and a full list of our rescue partners, please visit our Rescue Partners page.

What are the requirements for a pet owner in Orange County?

As a pet owner in Orange County, it is your responsibility to make sure that your pet maintains a current rabies vaccination. You must also supply adequate shelter, food and water, and keep your animal properly confined.

A pet I just adopted is sick. What should I do?

If you adopted the animal within the last 10 days from our shelter you may bring your pet to our clinic for an exam. Please call Sandy Register at (407) 254-9137.

Are all animals sterilized prior to adoption?

Animal Services advocates on behalf of the importance of sterilization to help curb pet overpopulation in our community. When adopting from our shelter, the sterilization cost is included in the adoption fee. The majority of animals adopted through OCAS are sterilized, health permitting. In few cases an animal may not be a candidate for sterilization based on an observed health condition or age.

Prior to spay or neuter procedures, each animal receives a pre-surgical examination which helps shelter veterinarians determine whether or not the animal is a candidate for sterilization. In rare cases, a condition may not be apparent and surfaces only during the actual procedure, which could result in an unexpected complication.

Approximately 10% of OCAS?s shelter dogs are diagnosed with heartworm disease. Dogs that are heartworm positive may still be candidates for spay and neuter procedures. Veterinarians conduct a hands-on physical examination of the dog prior to, which includes listening to the dog?s heart and lungs as an aid to whether or not the animal is a candidate for sterilization. Heartworm disease has various stages, which is why the condition itself does not exclude a dog from being spayed or neutered. However, if a veterinarian does not believe the animal is healthy enough for the procedure, they will not proceed. These decisions are made on a case by case basis. It is crucial that any new family fully understand the needs of the animal prior to leaving the shelter, especially one with heartworm disease, or one that has experienced a complication during the spay and neuter process.

Animals with medical conditions that rule them out as candidates for spay or neuter at the time of adoption can still be released to new families. They are welcome back at the shelter for sterilization once they are healthier in the future.

From time to time, the shelter has been asked to provide their policy on the sterilization of heartworm positive dogs. Because each animal?s needs are unique, it is the policy of OCAS that its team of licensed veterinarians maintain full discretion in determining the best treatment plan for sick or injured animals, in addition to which are candidates for surgical procedures.

Get Involved

How do I schedule a guest speaker?

You may schedule a speaker by contacting Marketing and Public Relations at (407) 254-9249 or by emailing

Can I schedule a shelter tour for a group?

You may schedule a tour for a group by contacting Marketing and Public Relations at (407) 254-9249 or by emailing

How can I become a volunteer?

To learn more about volunteering please contact or visit Animal Services Volunteer Opportunities.

I need community service hours. How can I get started on this?

Please send an email to to learn more about community service hours.

How can I make a donation to your shelter?

Visit our Orange County Animals and Pets Donation page to Save The Lives of Pets to make a monetary donation or view a wish list of items our animals need. Checks may be made out to BCC/Animal Services Trust Fund and sent to 2769 Conroy Road, Orlando, FL 32839.

What donation items are you in need of?

Our shelter will accept monetary donations and any of the items from our wish list: Orange County Animal Services Wish List.

Lost and Found

I lost my dog/cat. What should I do?

If you’ve lost your dog or cat please check all of the photos of our shelter pets online, Orange County NetPets. We also urge you to visit our shelter in person to try and spot your lost pet. Lastly, you can post a photo and description on our Lost and Found Pet Forum, Lost & Found Pets.

I found my lost pet on your website. How do I reclaim my pet?

If you found your pet on Orange County NetPets, you are required to come in person to Orange County Animal Services. You must also bring proof of ownership with you (preferably your pet’s medical records or pictures of you and your pet).

You must also pay an impound fee and daily boarding fee for your pet to be released to you.

Once your pet has been impounded twice, it must be spayed or neutered prior to release.

What do I bring for proof of ownership?

Please bring in photos of your pet and the vet records. You should also bring your driver’s license.

How much will it cost to reclaim my animal?

Impoundment fees are:

  • $15 for the first impoundment.
  • $26 for the second impoundment.
  • $41 for the third impoundment.

The boarding fee is $10 per day.

In addition, you must show proof that your pet is up to date on its rabies vaccination to be released. If no proof is found, Orange County Animal Services can provide the rabies vaccination for $5.

I found a stray animal. What should I do?

If you have found a stray animal please try and locate the owner by checking to see if the animal has a microchip or any tags. An animal can be scanned for a potential microchip at any local vet or shelter. You may also post a photo and description of the animal you found on our website here: Lost & Found Pets.

What is a pet microchip and why is it important?

A pet microchip is a small identifying circuit placed under the skin of a dog or cat. These chips are registered with the pet owner’s contact information. When a lost dog or cat enters our shelter they are scanned for a microchip. If the animal has a registered microchip, we will contact the owners to attempt to reunite them with their family.

Can my pet receive a microchip at Orange County Animal Services?

Yes, pet microchipping services are available in our clinic Monday through Friday from 1 – 5:30 p.m. The cost is $15 for the microchip service and for the information to be stored at Orange County Animal Services; an additional $9.95 may be paid to register the microchip nationwide.

Animal Care Center

How long do you hold the animal before adopting it out or euthanizing it?

Orange County Animal Services is required to keep animals that are not displaying ownership (these include tags, a collar, a microchip) for a minimum of three working days prior to adoption or rescue. Animals with signs of ownership are held a minimum of five working days.

If owner information is available, Animal Services will make three attempts to contact the owner by phone. Additionally a certified letter may be sent to the owner notifying him or her that the animal is at our facility. This letter provides an additional 10 days for reclaim.

During the hold period, an application can be submitted at any time. Animals displaying attributes of adoptability (good health, temperament, etc.) will often be held longer to provide an opportunity for adoption. Each animal is reviewed individually and decisions on hold times are made on a case by case basis.

How much does it cost to have my pet humanely euthanized?

Orange County charges a $15 disposal fee both to euthanize animals and to dispose of deceased owned animals. Animals can be brought to Animal Services between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday - Friday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Owners are not permitted to be present during the procedure.

What is the Pet Pantry?

The Pet Pantry serves to aid financially struggling pet owners. This pantry exists because of the generous donations of the community. It is available for families in need who may have experienced a tight budget month because of unexpected expenses, such as medical injuries or car repairs. The shelter hopes that opening the “Pet Pantry” will result in less pets being surrendered by their families.

If you are in need of utilizing the Pet Pantry please come to the shelter with your proof of Orange County residence. You may pick up food Monday - Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you would like to first verify availability of food in our Pet Pantry is in stock before traveling to the shelter, please send an email to

Is there a review process for unexpected outcomes at the shelter?

The care and well-being of all animals in the custody of Orange County Animal Services (OCAS) is of the utmost importance. We have expanded our peer review process to create a forum that will allow veterinarians to review individual cases after an unexpected outcome at their request, the request of OCAS, or the community. This enhancement will welcome feedback and observations from outside veterinary staff who treated a shelter animal post release and provide a response to those with questions regarding animal care. It will also offer valuable information to the shelter.

For more information, please e-mail

Field Operations

Where can I view the full online version of the Orange County Code?

How do I report a case of animal cruelty?

You can anonymously report suspected animal cruelty or dogfighting by calling Crimeline at (800) 423-TIPS or visiting You may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000. You may also call Animal Services by dialing 3-1-1 and request to remain anonymous.

How do I report a dog or cat bite, an aggressive animal in my neighborhood, an injured animal, a deceased animal on the roadway or other domestic animal issues?

Please call (407) 836-3111 or dial 3-1-1 to report any type of domestic animal-related issue in Orange County.

How long will it take an officer to respond to my call or complaint?

All calls are answered on a priority system. For example, animal bites, injured animals and aggressive animals are high priority and are attended to first. We make every effort to triage calls and respond to them in accordance with their impact on public safety.

Can we bring our animal to the responsible pet ownership class?

No, the class is a first step in the educational process of responsible pet ownership and is directed toward the pet owner or keeper.

I received a citation. What should I do?

You can either pay the citation penalty or contest the citation in court. Payments should be made through the Orange County Clerk of the Court within 14 calendar days after issuance of the citation. If you elect to contest the citation, you must appear at the Orange County Clerk of the Court on the date assigned in the citation for an arraignment hearing by a County court judge.

If you fail to pay the civil penalty within the time allowed or fail to appear in court to contest the citation, you shall be deemed to have waived your right to contest the citation. Judgment may be entered against you for an amount up to the maximum civil penalty. A four-hour mandatory Responsible Pet Ownership class may also apply under several circumstances. For more information, please call (407) 836-3111 or dial 3-1-1.

I received a nuisance letter or nuisance official notice and I want to dispute it (in reference to a loose dog, barking dog, nuisance cat being an unwelcome guest on property, defecating on property, or property damage). What should I do?

Mail in a rebuttal letter to Orange County Animal Services and we will add it to your file. You can also call Citizens Dispute Settlement at (407) 423-5732.

I received an official notice from an officer requesting rabies information for my animal. What should I do?

Fax a copy of the rabies vaccination certificate signed by the animal’s veterinarian to (407) 355-5750.

I have a raccoon or opossum in my yard. How do I get it removed?

Opossums, raccoons and other wildlife are natural inhabitants of Florida’s landscape; it is not unusual to see them in yards. For nuisance wildlife it is the property owner’s responsibility to contact a private trapper.

What should I do if I have a nuisance cat in my yard?

If you know who owns of the cat, you can file a report with Orange County Animal Services. If you do not know who the owner is, you may rent a cat trap from Orange County for a $5 daily fee. You must pre-pay the first 5-day rental fee of $25. The remainder of the rental can be paid when the trap is returned. A refund will be given for unused days. To start the process, please call (407) 836-3111. Once you have received your trapping package in the mail, you will need to complete the citizen’s complaint form and fax it to the Trapping Coordinator at (407) 355-5749 for approval. You will receive a permit number and approved dates.

If the animal is sick, injured, or poses a public health threat, Animal Services will respond. Please call (407) 836-3111 or dial 3-1-1.

What should I do if my neighbor is feeding cats but not claiming ownership?

Provide the individual’s information to 311 Customer Service by calling (407) 836-3111. An officer will investigate the report to see if the individual is claiming ownership. If he or she is not claiming ownership, Orange County will allow you to trap the cats. Trap rental fees apply.

Contact Us

Orange County Animal Services
Pet Rescue & Adoption Center
2769 Conroy Road
Orlando, FL 32839-2162

Phone: (407) 836-3111

All e-mail sent to this address becomes part of Orange County public record. Comments received by our e-mail subsystem can be read by anyone who requests that privilege. In compliance with "Government in the Sunshine" laws, Orange County Government must make available, at request, any and all information not deemed a threat to the security of law enforcement agencies and personnel.