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Learn the Truth

Combating common myths about adopting from animal shelters

Myths, Facts, And FAQ’s

pet_food-iconEducating the community about dogs and cats and their care is part of the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando’s mission. On this page we offer facts that counter the most common myths about adopting pets from animal shelters and we answer the most frequently asked questions. We hope this information helps in making the decision to adopt.

Myth: Most animals who end up in shelters do so because there’s something wrong with them.
Fact: Animals are relinquished to shelters for a variety of reasons. The most cited reasons according to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy are that the family is moving, that the family already has too many animals, and that the family cannot afford appropriate care for the animal. Adoptable animals at Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando learn basic manners, housetraining, and social skills to become a successful new family member.

Myth: Animal shelters are sad places that are difficult to visit.
Fact: The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando is full of love and support from dedicated staff and passionate volunteers who truly care about the animals here. The ideal situation for any animal is to be in a loving home where they can be a part of a family. In the meantime, we make every effort to create a welcoming, safe, and comfortable temporary home here at the shelter. We have no time limit for an animals’ stay, so we do not euthanize pets due to time or space limitations.

volunteer with kittens 2Myth: Shelters never have purebreds, puppies, or kittens.
Fact: All types of dogs and cats are turned into the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando. In a study of dogs and cats in 12 U.S. animal shelters, 30% of the animals in the shelter were purebred. We encourage all potential adopters to be open-minded when arriving at our shelters. The perfect pet for you may not be the one that you imagined it would be.

Myth: Once you leave the shelter with your new pet, you are on your own.
Fact: At the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando we offer as much post-adoption support as is needed. Our training department is available for free post-adopt behavior consultations via phone or email and our relationship with training centers throughout the community ensures that further, hands-on advice is available quickly and easily. Along with area private practice veterinary clinics, the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando Veterinary Clinics provide free health examinations for animals adopted from our shelters. Establishing a relationship with a veterinarian for your new pet is important in establishing a successful adoptive home.

Myth: Little is known about the origins or history of animals at an animal shelter.
Fact: Because the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando only accepts owner-surrendered pets, we often have information on the pet’s past, his or her likes and dislikes, and the animal’s medical history. We ask owners who are surrendering their pets to provide us any information they can, and we in turn make that information available to all potential adopters. All animals are spayed or neutered, treated for internal and external parasites, microchipped, provided initial vaccinations including rabies and distemper, and guaranteed a free visit to a veterinarian after adoption. Cats are tested for Feline Leukemia and FIV before they leave our shelters. We provide one month of heartworm prevention for every dog and cat who is adopted from us.

Other FAQ’s:

Do you accept strays?

Orange County Animal Services, Osceola County Animal Services, Seminole County Animal Services, or your county of residence’s animal services agency are legally empowered to accept stray animals from the community. Having one central facility in each community to care for strays ensures that an owner looking for a lost pet will be directed to the appropriate agency to find their missing companion. We want the process of finding a lost pet to be as simple as possible. Your county’s animal services agency is a government mandated law enforcement agency. The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, on the other hand, is a non-profit animal welfare organization and as such, we do not accept stray animals.

Do you only shelter dogs and cats?

pet_waterbowl-iconThe Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando only accepts dogs and cats. While we understand that there are other animals in need of sheltering, we recognize that other local agencies have better resources for these animals. For more information on wildlife refuges, please visit our Wildlife Resources page.

Will you put an animal on “hold” for me?

A potential adopter may place a reservation on a pet they are interested in visiting at either our Orlando or Sanford animal shelters.  These visitation reservations require a $40 fee.  We allow visitation reservations to be placed on pets so that potential adopters who are not local or who are at work can be assured the pet they wish to visit is available for them by the time they reach they shelter. Potential adopters are paying for the exclusive rights to visit and adopt during the reservation time. The visitation reservation pays for the service of holding the animal. The visitation reservation fee is not included in the adoption fee and is non-refundable. Reservations can be made same day as visitation or over the phone. A pet can only be held for 24 hours or close of business the next business day. Visitation reservations can only be processed for animals in our shelter facilities and not at off-site locations. Please call our Customer Care Center at (407) 351-7722 to place a hold on an animal.

male volunteer with white pit4Why do pets have to be spayed or neutered before going home?

Pet overpopulation is a huge problem that affects us all. It costs taxpayers an estimated $2 billion each year to impound, shelter, destroy, and dispose of homeless animals. This does not include the billions of dollars in donations collected and spent each year by non-profit animal sheltering organizations like Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando. We feel that it’s our responsibility to do our part in preventing any more homeless animals from being born. Every animal placed into a new home by our organization is sterilized prior to adoption.

Photos on this page by Shelly Sasse Photography.