Too Many Pets – Shelter Halts Acceptance Of Owner Surrenders

Update: On November 5, the shelter posted a positive update about the overcrowding situation:

OC Animal Shelter successfully adopted 221 pets to forever homes in a two day period (11/3-11/4) during a special adoption fee waiver event, which dropped our shelter capacity below 60%. Accordingly, the fee waiver event has expired per the resolution approved by the Board of Supervisors.
From OC Animal Care Director Jennifer Hawkins, DVM:
We are very thankful for the many folks who came from all around (Riverside, LA, San Diego and Orange counties) to adopt a shelter pet. We also are very appreciative of the help from the media to get the word out and to the OC Board of Supervisors for making this possible. And let’s not forget the staff and volunteers who have been working overtime and extra shifts to help provide care for the many great shelter animals and for stepping it up one more time to process the hundreds of adoptions, totaling 221 animals over the last two days. Bravo!

OC Animal Care, in Orange, California, is so inundated with pets that the difficult decision has been made to temporarily halt the acceptance of owner surrendered pets. On November 2, the shelter issued a release about the serious situation at the facility.

According to the release, the problem began on October 4 after 200 rabbits were impounded. In the weeks that followed, the shelter continued to receive many cats, dogs and other animals. Thanks to local media attention, and a reduction in the adoption fee for rabbits, many of the homeless rabbits were adopted, but 127 are still waiting for homes.


In order to help clear the shelter, the OC Board of Supervisors has passed a resolution which temporarily waives adoption-related fees (adoption fee, microchip, altering, vaccination, and applicable veterinary services). The $27 dog license fee is still required, however.


The waiver of adoption-related fees starts on November 3rd and will continue until the population at the animal shelter has “significantly” declined.

OC Animal Care Director, Dr. Jennifer Hawkins stressed the importance of reducing the number of animals at the shelter:

“We have an obligation to provide temporary shelter to stray homeless animals. At this time, we are not accepting dogs surrendered to the shelter as we are experiencing high shelter volume. We are counting on community members to adopt a shelter pet. Staff and volunteers from all departments are chipping in to help provide care to the animals. However, what these animals truly need is a loving home.”


Individuals considering the addition of a pet to their household are encouraged to consider adoption. The OC Animal Care facility, which takes in over 30,000 unwanted pets each year, is located at 561 The City Dr. S.
Orange, CA 92868.

Find the website for the facility at this link. Facebook page for OC Animal Care here.

(Photos via OC Animal Care – as of the writing of this article, these animals were available for adoption)

Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.