Orange County Animal Care continues to find homes for animals during pandemic

Orange County Animal Care has made a number of changes since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to find homes for the animals in its care.

“We’re still seeing a lot of homeless pets come in, and they need homes,” said Jessica Novillo, spokeswoman for O.C. Animal Care. “It’s important that we know that this is a community that we don’t forget.”

The county shelter has re-homed 2,920 animals since it transitioned to holding virtual events and appointment-only adoptions in March.

Novillo said the number of adoptions has been normal considering the county has seen a drop in its intake numbers. The shelter currently has about 100 cats and 120 dogs, which is fewer than normal.

O.C. Animal Care replaced its in-person adoption events with virtual events to connect people with low-cost adoptions. Those in-person events usually attract big crowds.

The shelter recently partnered with county Supervisor Doug Chaffee for a “Fur-ever Thankful” virtual adoption event. For the event, 100 low-cost adoption vouchers were given out to families, who have 60 days to redeem them.

The O.C. Animal Care facility in Tustin is only taking appointments for adoptions.

The Orange County Animal Care facility in Tustin is only taking appointments for adoptions to prevent the spread of the virus.

(File Photo)

O.C. Animal Care also partnered with Animals for Armed Forces for a Veterans Day event. Another 100 vouchers were given out to current and former members of the military for that event.

The shelter is holding a “Family Fur-st” drive-through pet food pantry on the second Saturday of every month in its parking lot at 1630 Victory Road, Tustin.

The shelter passes out dog, cat and rabbit food that was donated from the community to residents who need it.

O.C. Animal Care is still holding its low-cost clinic on the fourth Tuesday of every month, though it’s now drive-through only. The clinic’s services include dog and cat vaccines, microchipping, de-worming and flea and tick treatment.

O.C. Animal Care has had to make changes to get pets adopted during the pandemic.

Orange County Animal Care has had to make changes to get pets adopted during the pandemic.

(Courtesy of O.C. Animal Care)

O.C. Animal Care went through some turmoil earlier in the year after its former director, Mike Kaviani, resigned after a CBS Los Angeles investigation revealed that the county agency had withheld dog bite histories of dozens of adopted dogs.

Some owners were attacked by the pets. The report also cited records that showed the shelter “drugged” some dogs with the anti-depressant Trazodone.

Andi Bernard was named the interim director as the county began a search for a permanent director. She had been serving as the human resources manager for Orange County Community Resources.

Bernard will continue to lead the agency through the pandemic after being named the permanent director in September.

“Ms. Bernard has served as the interim director since January and brought strong leadership to guide the experienced team of O.C. Animal Care employees,” Novillo said.

For more information on how to adopt an animal, visit petadoption.ocpetinfo.com/Adopt/. To schedule an adoption appointment, call (714) 935-6848.

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