Orlando Pet Adoption and Fostering
Interested in giving an animal a forever or temporary home? Here are some tips to get you started. By Lisa A. Beach
While each animal shelter or rescue organization has its own criteria and procedure, the process typically starts with completing an application. Often, they’re available on the organization’s website. In the application, you provide details about your home environment (apartment, two-story house, big backyard), other people/pets in your home (live alone, young children, energetic dog), your work situation or availability (work-from-home, retired, 9-5 office hours), and lifestyle (sedentary senior, active millennial, frequent traveler). Once the organization understands who you are, it can better match the perfect animal to your lifestyle.
If you’re adopting, you’d normally go to the shelter, meet the animals in person, and choose the one that seems like a good fit, usually with the guidance of a trained staff member or volunteer. However, during the pandemic, much of this process has moved online, including virtual meet-and-greets. Typically, you pay a fee, which can range from $50 to $300+, depending on the age and type of animal. (Dogs usually cost more than cats, puppies and kittens usually cost more than adult animals.) The fee covers spay/neuter surgery, vaccines, health tests, and flea/heartworm prevention. You’ll need to stock up on basic supplies at home, such as cat/dog food, bowls, grooming supplies, collar/leash, litterbox and litter (for cats).
If you’re fostering, you’ll be providing a temporary home for animals while they await adoption. Both short-term and long-term foster opportunities are available, allowing for animals to heal, grow, and develop in a home environment rather than a shelter. There is no fee to foster and typically, the shelter provides food, supplies, and any needed medicine or veterinary care.
SHELTERS AND RESCUES
Shelters and Rescues: There are dozens of animal shelters and rescue organizations in Central Florida, along with county animal services departments. You’ll even find niche groups that specialize in only cats (Cats-Can), only dogs (Poodle and Pooch Rescue), special needs (Lovey Loaves Special Needs Rescue & Sanctuary), seniors (Senior Greyhound Adoption of Florida), certain sizes (Florida Little Dog Rescue), and certain breeds (Husky Haven of Florida). Here are a few additional resources to get you started:
- Candy’s Cats (Apopka)
- Central Florida Pug Rescue (Lake Mary)
- Helping Paws Humane Society (St. Cloud)
- Orange County Animal Services (Orlando)
- Orlando Cat Café (Clermont)
- Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando (Orlando and Sanford)
- Pet Rescue by Judy (Sanford)
- Pug Rescue of Florida (Windermere)