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Prince George’s County Animal Shelter to Limit Intake of Owner-Surrender Pets

Press Release

 

For immediate release:
April 1, 2024

For more information, contact:
Linda Lowe
Public Information Officer
Department of the Environment
lmlowe@co.pg.md.us; (301) 836-2115 (cell)

 

Prince George’s County Animal Shelter to Limit Intake of 
Owner-Surrender Pets
The measure protects pets from spreading disease and prevents shelter overcrowding

Largo, MD – Effective Monday, April 1, 2024, the Prince George’s County Animals Services Facility and Adoption Center (ASFAC) announced it would limit accepting owner-surrender pets when reaching capacity and the recurrence of the respiratory infection known as Strep Zoo (pronounced “Zo”). The disease was previously detected at the shelter in January, causing a brief shutdown, and it continues to be of great concern for public animal shelters nationwide. 

As part of the recurrence, all pets are being treated with medication as a preventative measure. Operations continue to be driven by veterinary medical professionals and best practices in shelter medicine. The facility also has deep cleaning protocols and policies for all staff to curb the disease from spreading. Currently, the shelter is open to the public and is waiving pet adoption fees to move pets out of the facility.   

“Our facility will limit the intake of owner-surrender pets to prevent further overcrowding and exposure to disease,” said Animal Services Director David Fisher. “We need the public’s help and ask them to consider re-homing a pet with other family or friends before bringing them to the shelter and adopting, fostering, or rescuing one of the pets already in our care.” 

As an open-admission shelter and like most across the country, the facility is operating at capacity due to the number of strays and owner-surrenders it receives daily. Since reopening to the public in January, ASFAC has moved hundreds of animals out of the facility through adoption, foster, and rescue partners. Unfortunately, hundreds more have entered the facility. 

All owners who surrender their animals to ASFAC are appraised of the facility's status at the time of surrender and the likely outcome for their animal. Animals picked up on stray hold or otherwise come into their care as holds are always held for the legally required hold period before any next steps towards adoption, foster, or rescue are discussed. 

“We would like to move as many as 100+ dogs out of our facility through pet adoption, new fosters, and our rescue partners,” says Fisher. “I encourage those looking for a four-legged friend to take advantage of our waived adoption fees.” 

ASFAC provides five tips to help keep pets out of the shelter:

  1. Always microchip your pet and make sure it has a quality ID collar tag.
  2. Don’t walk your dog off-leash. County code requires all dogs to be walked with a leash.
  3. Spay or neuter your pet to prevent overpopulation.
  4. Ensure your pet's spaces, like walls, fences, and gates, are secure so they won’t be able to wiggle out. 
  5. Take animals in your care to regular veterinary visits and keep them up to date on their vaccinations and pet licenses. Keeping your animal healthy keeps our community of animals healthy.

ASFAC cares for a wide variety of animals and breeds, especially larger-breed dogs, those 60+ pounds, seeking a forever home. The facility is open to the public Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

To view the many animals available for adoption, visit princegeorgespets4us.com

For more information on Strep Zoo, review this fact sheet. 

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