ORLANDO – On Saturday, you have an opportunity to meet Pepe, Ajax and Buttercup.
Better still, if you truly like them, you can take them home.
Pepe, a 3-year-old male Chihuahua; Ajax, a one-year-old male Orange Tabby; and Buttercup, a one-year old female Weimaraner mix, are among the animals that are available for adoption through the Orange County Animal Services, which is hosting its inaugural “Hot Dogs, Cool Cats” adoption event on Saturday, May 31.
What that means is for one day, all the cat and dog adoption fees will be reduced to $15, while the shelter at 2769 Conroy Road in Orlando, right near the Mall of Millenia, will remain open an additional five hours, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Dil Luther, division manager of Orange County Animal Services, said the shelter’s staff organized this event in the hope of placing as many available pets in loving homes as possible.
“As Orange County’s only open-admission shelter, we receive an average of 53 pets each day,” Luther said. “In the summer months, we see a surge of animals coming in and currently have more than 300 pets available for adoption.”
The shelter’s mission got much tougher this week when they had to take in 34 dogs, including six puppies, that were confiscated from an Apopka dog fighting ring on Tuesday.
Twenty-six people got arrested and are now facing felony charges in connection with the dog fighting ring, and police say the organizers used horse steroids and other drugs to make the dogs stronger and better able to fight. Many of the dogs were emaciated and badly hurt.
All of the dogs got medical assessments and are currently being cared for at Orange County Animal Services.
“Most of the dogs appear to be relieved to finally be in a safe environment,” said Luther. “You can see it in their faces and the way they are able to relax in our kennels on their beds.”
Luther said these dogs currently represent sad evidence for the ongoing cruelty investigation, and Animal Services plans to be petitioning for custody of the animals.
At the same time, Animal Services is asking for the community’s help, since the shelter was close to capacity even before receiving the 34 additional dogs.
“We have many loving dogs and cats looking for families and placing these animals in forever homes would allow us more space to provide comfort for the animals taken in from the cruelty situation,” Luther said.
He added that pet overpopulation has been a problem in Orange County for decades.
Anyone who adopts a pet on Saturday can also take advantage of a variety of services that come with it, including spay/neuter, initial vaccinations, microchip identification, deworming, heartworm test (dogs) or FLV/FIV test for cats, and a rabies vaccination. They also receive an Adoption Welcome Kit.
The “Hot Dogs, Cool Cats” adopt-a-thon will also be something of a party, featuring cuisine from local food trucks.
Luther said those who bring home a new family member during the event will also get a surprise pet goody bag.
To learn more, call 407-254-9150.
Orange County Animal Services is Central Florida’s largest pet rescue and adoption center. Last year, Animal Services took in nearly 23,000 animals at its shelter.
It has been in existence for more than 40 years, and its vision is to give abandoned and neglected pets a second chance to live long, healthy lives in safe, loving homes.
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