White dog in a yard

Citrus County Animal Services Suspends Dog Intakes until Further Notice

By Florida's Original NatureCoaster™ Posted on January 24, 2023

Citrus County Animal Services (CCAS) has suspended all dog intakes until further notice, including stray dogs, in response to a continued upper respiratory outbreak at the shelter.

Locally and nationally, there is an increase in upper respiratory disease in dogs seen by private veterinarians and shelters. Affected dogs must stay isolated for 14 days. This disease is also circulating in our community, so it is extremely important to keep dogs away from public areas for at least two weeks. Public areas include the store, the park, and even your neighbor’s yard. 

“This is not just a shelter issue. We are seeing this disease in dogs all over our county, and it’s something that vets are currently unable to treat,” said Dr. Meaghan Mielo, Chief Veterinarian. 

There is no vaccine available for this virus; therefore, the only appropriate response is to isolate potentially sick and exposed animals to prevent the spread. Dr. Mielo continues to monitor the shelter population closely to ensure that any affected dogs receive appropriate and timely treatment.  

Citrus County Animal Services cannot Pick Up Lost/Stray Dogs

During this time, Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Animal Control Officers (ACOs) cannot pick up lost/stray dogs. Citizens who find stray dogs are urged to help reunite with their owners. The shelter provides crates, food, and other necessary supplies for those willing to help temporarily home the  lost/stray dogs.  

When dealing with lost and found pets, email [email protected] with a detailed description and photo, along with information about where the animal went missing. CCAS staff will still work to match lost and found dogs without taking them into the shelter environment.  

Social Media can assist in Finding Owners of Lost Pets

“One of the biggest ways we can assist in finding the owners of these lost pets is social media,” said Animal Control Supervisor Lora Peckham. “There are plenty of pages out there, and the shelter has  recommended some as well. It has been extremely successful in helping owners locate these lost animals  and reunite them without using the shelter. The shelter also posts photos/information about these  animals in hopes of getting them back to their owners. Finding owners is one of the biggest things we need to be doing right now.”

CCAS will continue to release dogs for adoption as they clear their quarantine and will remain open for cat intake/adoptions and product/license sales. To view available animals, please visit www.citrusbocc.com/adoptapet. For more information, please call (352) 746-8400. 

LOST PET RESOURCES: 

Below are a few ways that citizens can help pets find their way home:  

• Knock on doors. 
• Walk the found pet around the neighborhood. 
• Talk to other residents. 
• Take a photo of the dog, along with cross-streets or area information of where it was found.
• Do not alter the appearance of the dog by removing the collar/clothing, grooming, or dressing.
• File a found report with the Citrus County Animal Shelter. 
• Contact local veterinary clinics. 
• Have the pet microchip scanned at a veterinary clinic. Remember to always keep your pets identified, licensed, and microchipped! 
• Post the animal on your area Lost and Found Pets social media pages. Provide as much detail as possible, including any special quirks about the dog, collar color, etc. Post a picture showing exactly how the animal looked when you found it. 
• Create bright, colorful pet posters and post in a one-mile radius around the area you found the dog. The posters should be big enough that people could see them passing by quickly in a car, with large text indicating “found dog,” a basic description and a large, clear photo. Don’t try to guess the breed, age, etc. in case you are incorrect. Stick to colors and unique identifying features so many people will respond. 

Online Resources for Locating Lost Pets

Craig’s List (www.craigslist.com)
NextDoor (www.nextdoor.com)
PawBoost.com (www.pawboost.com)
Petco Love Lost (lost.petcolove.org)

Citrus County Helpful Facebook Groups: 

https://www.facebook.com/LostPetsCitrusCountyFL

https://www.facebook.com/MissingPetsOfCitrusCounty

https://www.facebook.com/groups/222874395027101

https://www.facebook.com/groups/596852260379251

https://www.facebook.com/groups/CCLFR

https://www.facebook.com/groups/256171624581383

https://www.facebook.com/groups/3097453007152117

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