Open up Orange County Animal Shelter (without restrictions) to the Public!

Open up Orange County Animal Shelter (without restrictions) to the Public!

July 13, 2022
Petition to
OC Community Resources Director Dylan Wright and 5 others
Signatures: 23,958Next Goal: 25,000
Support now

Why this petition matters

Started by Margot Boyer

OC Animal Shelter is not open for public viewing of potential adoptions other than by appointments and has been closed for over two years (since the beginning of COVID) yet all other shelters are open! This shelter needs to fully open so that the procedure for adopting animals is made as simple and easily as possible (as it used to be) instead of having to go through the laborious appointment system. (You even have to make an appointment to find your lost dog). This so called concierge service only allows you to see up to 2 animals, if you happen to like the dog in the next kennel, you have to wait and get another appointment!   

I was full of hope as the Grand Jury recently published a report on the shelter citing many problems.

To my disbelief, the OC Board of Supervisors, (and now it looks like the 13 cities that pay vast sums of money are taking no notice of the report) They are going to reject the findings, without even investigating the facts!

The county’s response to the Grand Jury report is item 28 on the agenda for the August 8 BOS meeting.  

Please contact your County Supervisor and tell them you disagree with the Draft Response to the Grand Jury Report.  Click here and send eComment:

These cities are creating a response ( looks like they are just copying each other) rejecting all the claims that the Grand Jury made, and will do nothing to help the poor animals. 

We have statistics that prove that the euthanization rates have increased since they closed the shelter.  The shelter is understaffed and dirty. (They clean up when someone of importance comes)

The management picks and chooses what dogs are put on show in their new programs to help publicize certain dogs.  OCAC is now full and they are killing dogs, cats, kittens for space, some animals do not have any chance of being adopted as they are never seen by the public.  Bios and decent photos of the animals are not put up online. What chance do these animals have of being adopted in their current concierge system. They are never get a chance to be seen.. 

What you can do to help. 
Contact your city urgently as you, (the tax payer) and tell them you reject  their response  to the Grand Jury! 
Contact the Board of Supervisors and tell them to open up the shelter and to take notice of the tax payer!

These desperate animals are not getting a chance to get a home as the public cannot get in to see them.  3 years ago I adopted a senior chi ( photo on left) from this shelter. The dog had two massive hernias, and if I had gone to the shelter, under the current system (only allowed to see one dog based on a photo)  I never would have seen or adopted her because I would not have wanted to deal with the surgery and did not want an old dog. However, I just happened to walk by her cage, she trotted up, wagged her tail and tried to lick me, so that was that! 

This shelter goes to extraordinary lengths to hold events (which are expensive and wastes the limited staff's time and energy) outside the jurisdiction of the 13 cities that pay the OCAC for their services, they also ship animals out to other states instead of holding events at the shelter where ALL animals could be seen, (makes their statistics look better)  They are starting to hold somewhat seemingly unsuccessful events to adopt dogs, as unfortunately there seems to be a high rate of returns!  In the past, the public (remember, we pay for this facility) used to be able to wander around at their leisure and enjoy establishing a relationship with a potential pet. There was no rush and you could visit the dogs as often as you wanted.

Rescues are given just 2 days (or sometimes no notice) to find resources to pull the dogs out, Restricted volunteers find dogs have been killed that are not even on the euthanized list.  Kittens are killed daily. Squalid conditions, lack of kennel staff ( only just started to advertise for help) 
There is no reason why they should not open fully to the public. If their reasoning is because there is not enough money for staff, then they should look at their costs that include over $600k per year for just two members of staff. For just 5 members of staff, there are annual costs of over $1,718,818. Isn’t that crazy! 

The photos above are of dogs that have been killed, (since this collage was created there have been so many more.

More information regarding problems at the OCAC
They are now "not an open-admission shelter", this means they refuse to accept healthy stray cats and tell rescuers to return the cats where they find them.
They are doing adoptions by appointment only, no shelter walk-throughs are allowed - and appointments are for a specific animal at the time that they will bring out to the potential adopter for a "boutique-like experience"
They do not offer a feral fix program AKA TNR or SNR or RTF anymore although other shelters are doing this and now there is a huge kitten explosion in Orange County.
They do not have an intervention team anymore. They were there to prevent owners from surrendering their pets, by offering them resources like medical funds, rental assistance, temporary shelter, etc. 
They do not have overnight staff to care for kittens so not to euthanize them at 5 pm.(This means kittens are regularly killed as no-one to care for them. Frantic emails are sent out last minute and it is so sad these poor kittens are killed.

They do not offer low-cost spay and neutering services and refuse to do so even though nonprofits have offered to financially sponsor clinics. They have several surgery rooms at the center that are unused that were designed for this purpose. These services are very expensive for people who adopted pets and have to go to regular vets in Orange County.

They do not intake cat families, they will take the kittens but not the mothers and instruct residents to put the unfixed mother where it was found. 
Their euthanasia rates have increased, their transfer rates to other rescues and shelters have increased, the adoption by rescues has increased, and their public adoptions have decreased. 

If you are interested in donating to another non profit organization that is doing amazing rescue work,  take a look at this

Please sign this petition and let’s get this shelter open to the public, and saves animal lives.. change the management so to reallocate tax payers money and put it where it needs to go! 


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Signatures: 23,958Next Goal: 25,000
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to help others easily find and sign the petition.

Decision Makers

  • Dylan WrightOC Community Resources Director
  • Cymantha AtkinsonAsst. Director Orange County Shelter
  • Andrew DoOC Board of Directors 1st District
  • Katrina FoleyOC Board of Supervisors 2nd District
  • Donald WagnerOC Board of Supervisors 3rd District