Orange County Animal Services (OCAS) will transition to appointment-based services as of Wednesday, March 18. The purpose of this transition is to continue to prevent or slow community spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in accordance with the recommendations on social distancing provided by public health officials.
The OCAS facility will be closed to the public with the exception of appointments made in advance. However, Animal Control and shelter operations staff will be reachable by phone and responding to messages during business hours as normal. Services requiring appointments include but are not limited to:
- Animal adoptions
- Animal visitations (Meet & Greets)
- Animal recoveries
- Searches for lost animals
- Animal surrenders
OCAS is currently asking that members of the public delay surrendering animals unless the surrender is extremely urgent or involves an emergency. They are also encouraging the public take advantage of online services such as licensing payments, filing reports and searching for lost or found pets, and browsing available animals. To inquire about an appointment or ask any questions, please call the facility’s main number, 919-942-7387, and follow the prompts that best fit your needs.
Animal Services is also suspending all donation drop offs to our facility (until further notice) in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, we can still accept deliveries from online resources (Amazon, Chewy, etc.). Monetary donations are welcomed and greatly appreciated during this time. You can simply mail a check to our facility or donate money online via Orange County’s Community Giving Fund. Please go to this web page for more information: https://www.orangecountync.gov/364/Donations
Animal Services is also asking that the public DO NOT enter the building to make license payments. Please print a licensing form (PDF) and mail to Animal Services, or of course you can easily license your pet online. You may also submit a licensing payment by using the drop box just outside of our front entrance.
OCAS would like to thank the community for their patience and understanding as they try to manage and maintain services while protecting staff and members of the public during the current COVID-19 pandemic. For up-to-date information on COVID-19, please visit www.orangecountync.gov/2332/Coronavirus-COVID-19.
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) AND PETS
There is no evidence that pets are playing a significant role in the spread of COVID-19. Based on the limited information available, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to humans is considered to be very low and more studies are needed. However, pet owners should avoid contact with unfamiliar animals and always wash their hands before and after they interact with animals until more is understood about the virus.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is recommended that all pets stay indoors or in enclosures on their own properties if at all possible to prevent them from roaming freely and interacting with other pets and people. Leashed walks should comply with social distancing from other pets and people.
It is always best if pets are able to stay in their own homes. If pet owners are sick with COVID-19, they should avoid contact with pets (including petting, snuggling, sharing food, etc.). Sick owners should separate themselves from any pets and have someone else in the household care for any animals as needed. If pet owners absolutely need to care for their pets while they are sick, they should wear a face mask and wash their hands before and after they interact with their pets.
Pet owners who cannot provide care or require hospitalization should have a plan in place for their pets.
• Identify a family member or friend who can care for pets if someone in your household becomes ill.
• Have crates, food, and extra supplies on hand for quick movement of pets.
• Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are current in the event boarding becomes necessary.
• Ensure all medications are documented with dosages and directions. Include prescriptions from your veterinarian if possible.
• Ensure all pets have visual identification (collar with ID tag) and a microchip.
• Make a disaster plan for your pets.
Arranging to have your pet cared for by a family member or friend could become especially important in some situations. It is in the best interest of your pets to have made such arrangements for their care in the comfort of someone’s home. Even if a pet may be cared for at a local animal shelter as a last resort, there are many more stresses and strains as well as the exposure to diseases from a high volume of animals entering the shelter environment.
For anyone who assumes care of a pet whose owner has tested positive for COVID-19, it is recommended that the caretaker use caution and contact a public health professional before handling the pet. At the very least, they should wear gloves, give the pet a thorough bath (with pet-friendly soap and warm water) before the pet enters a new home, and segregate the animal to the extent possible for a period of time.