Frequently Asked Questions

Please see below for answers to many of the most common questions we receive.

What do I need to adopt a pet ?

Please bring a driver’s license and payment method.

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

The adoption process begins with visiting the shelter in person and interacting with a prospective pet. After the interaction has occurred, an adoption application must be completed. Once the application is approved and the fees are paid, the process is complete. As soon as the pet has met its 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 the new pet

Can residents outside of Orange County adopt ?

Yes. An adopter need not live within Orange County to adopt. A valid identification is still required for the adoption.

When can I expect to pick up my new pet ?

When an adoption is approved and the animal has met the mandatory hold requirements (typically 3-5 days), the pet is good to go home. OCAS will notify the adopter on the day of the pet’s surgery and the adopter will have 48 hours to pick up. Pick up is between the hours of 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Can Animal Services assist with transport ?

Animal Services cannot transport pets. However, if an interested adopter lives out of town and is unable to visit the shelter, OCAS encourages them to reach out to a registered rescue partner for assistance.

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

Pet owners in Orange County must maintain a current rabies vaccination for their pets. They must also supply adequate shelter, food and water, and keep the animal properly confined.

Are all animals sterilized prior to adoption ?

Animal Services advocates on behalf of the importance of sterilization to help curb pet overpopulation. When adopting from OCAS, the sterilization cost is included in the adoption fee. The majority of animals adopted through OCAS are sterilized, health permitting. In rare 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/neuter process.

Animals with medical conditions that cannot be spayed/neutered can still be released to new families. They are welcomed back at the shelter for sterilization if their health improves 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.

Can I schedule a shelter tour or a guest speaker ?

Schedule a speaker by contacting Marketing and Public Relations at 407-836-PAWS or by emailing

How can I become a volunteer ?

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

How can I get community service hours ?

Please email to learn more about community service hours.

How can I make a donation to OCAS ?

Please visit our donation page here for more information.

How can I apply for a community grant through the Animal Services trust fund?

This document has more information on the community grant and how to apply today.

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

If an animal is missing, please check the OCAS pet portal online to see if it is at the shelter. It is also recommended to visit OCAS in person to search for lost pets as well. If the animal does not appear to be at the shelter, the owner is encouraged to post on the Lost and Found Pet Forum.

I found my lost pet on OCAS’s website. What should I do?

If a lost pet is in the care of OCAS, please visit the shelter in person to reclaim the animal. Proof of ownership is necessary. This can be in the form of the pet’s medical records or photos the dog and the owner together. Animals impounded at OCAS 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 OCAS. The litter provides an added 10 days for reclaim.

During the hold period, an application can be submitted at any time. Animal 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 will it cost to reclaim an 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, the owner must show proof that the 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?

First, try to 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. Additionally, posts on the Lost and Found Pet Forum are encouraged.

What is a pet microchip?

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, OCAS 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 the OCAS 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.

How long is an animal held before adopting or euthanizing it?

By law, Orange County Animal Services keeps animals that are not displaying ownership 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. Signs of ownership include tags, a collar, a microchip, etc. Pending the temperament and medical conditions remain stable, Animal Services will house pets for adoption until the shelter reaches capacity.

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 a 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.

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. OCAS has expanded their 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

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

How do I report a case of animal cruelty?

Citizens can anonymously report suspected animal cruelty or dogfighting by calling Crimeline at (800) 423-TIPS or visiting The reporter may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000. Callers may also report directly to Animal Services by dialing 3-1-1 and requesting 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. OCAS makes every effort to triage calls and respond to them in accordance with their impact on public safety.

Can I bring my 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?

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 it is elected to contest the citation, the owner 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 the owner fails to pay the civil penalty within the time allowed or fails to appear in court to contest the citation, the owner shall be deemed to have waived their right to contest the citation. Judgment may be entered against the owner 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?

Please mail in a rebuttal letter to Orange County Animal Services. Another option is to 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 the cat owner is known, please file a report with Orange County Animal Services.

If the cat owner is unknown, Orange County Animal Services’ offers trap rentals for a $5 daily fee. The initial 5-day rental fee of $25 is required up front. The remainder of the rental can be paid when the trap is returned. A refund will be issued for unused days.

To start the process, please call (407) 836-3111. Once the trapping packet is received in the mail, please complete the citizen’s complaint form and fax it to the Trapping Coordinator at (407) 355-5749 for approval. A permit number and approved dates will be issued.

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 private citizens to trap the cats. Trap rental fees apply.

About Us

Orange County Animal Services is a progressive animal-welfare focused organization that enforces the Orange County Code to protect both citizens and animals. We provide service throughout Orange County, including all municipalities.


Orange County Animal Services
Pet Rescue & Adoption Center
2769 Conroy Road, Orlando, FL 32839
(407) 836-3111