OC Animal Shelter Only Opens 5 Hours A Week


Photo: ETIENNE TORBEY / AFP / Getty Images

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic closed shelter doors, Orange County’s animal shelter reopened to the public to view cats and dogs up for adoption.

Here is the catch, shelter hours are limited to only 5 hours a week starting on July 19th, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 2 to 4:30pm with no appointment. However, some activists say that that is not enough time for the public to see and socialize with the animals. Wednesday’s hours conflict with those who work during the weekdays, the hours end the program early while many people are still at work.

OC animal shelter spokesperson Jackie Tran spoke with Voice of OC and said that shelter leaders will evaluate the program, both with its successes and opportunities for growth and adjustments.

Kennels reopening are the result of arguments that the previous closures and appointment policies were the cause of increase in kill rates for dogs and cats in the shelter.

Before the pandemic, the public had the opportunity to go to the shelters without any harsh restrictions. Currently, the restrictions in place do not allow potential adopters to view all the adoptable animals.

A report given to the Orange County Grand Jury outlines an investigation into the kennels current practices and closures that limit public access to the animals. According to Tran in the interview with Voice of OC, the report will be reviewed within 90 days by the County Executive office.

Those criticizing the shelter acknowledge that reopening the kennel is a tiny step in the right direction but will have very little impact in the amount of animal adoptions.

Animal advocate Liz Hueg said to Voice of OC that, “Adoptions are down. Returns are up. Open the shelter — lives, actual lives, count on it.” 

If you are interested in adopting an animal or to find out more information, please visit OC Animal Care

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