With higher than usual intake for the past two weeks, Santa Rosa County Animal Services (SRCAS) is asking people to avoid surrendering healthy pets, following guidance provided by the National Animal Care & Control Association to take extra measures to reduce shelter intake to mitigate the short and long-term effects of COVID-19. There is no evidence that dogs or cats can be infected or spread the virus that causes COVID-19. Adoptions, fosters and rescues will continue at the shelter, but owner surrender services will be adjusted.
The shelter is asking owners who want to surrender their pets but aren’t facing an immediate crisis to hold off for four weeks and surrender at a later date. For pet owners who need to surrender immediately and have made an appointment, the shelter will accept the pets at the scheduled intake time.
SRCAS operates at or near capacity every day and is asking citizens to adopt or foster an animal in the shelter. Adoption fees have been reduced to $10 for cats and $25 for dogs through the end of March to help reduce the number of animals at the shelter. The shelter is also asking for 100 “on-call” emergency fosters who can take home a pet if SRCAS reaches critical capacity. SRCAS will provide vet care and additional supplies while they last. Visit www.santarosa.fl.gov/727/Foster-Program for more information on the foster program.
People who can’t adopt or foster may make a donation to SRCAS at www.santarosa.fl.gov/402/Pet-Shelter-Donations. SRCAS hopes to raise funds to bolster outreach efforts, stock fostering supplies and prepare to help families with pets if needed. Critical items can also be purchased from the organization’s Amazon Wish List and shipped directly to the shelter.
SRCAS asks that people who find friendly stray pets to consider fostering until the shelter can resume normal operations. Stray finders can take the pet to a vet clinic or SRCAS, 4451 Pine Forest Road in Milton, to check for a microchip, file a found report, create and hang flyers in the vicinity of where the pet was found and hold the pet to give the owner time to locate it. Pet owners are encouraged to make plans for pets, such as stocking up on two extra weeks of pet supplies and identifying a pet sitter, in the event someone in the home falls ill or the pet owner becomes hospitalized.
For information about local impacts of COVID-19 on humans and guidance for staying healthy, visit cdc.gov. For Santa Rosa County specific information, visit www.santarosa.fl.gov/COVID19.
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