Opinion Piece by Michael Mavrovouniotis, Former Volunteer at Orange County Animal Care
What’s going on at Orange County Animal Care in Tustin, California? Shelter staff and volunteers are working hard, but the shelter is killing an increasing percentage of its animals. Adopted animals are often returned. A volunteer was badly injured – the third serious incident in recent months. Stress is rising for animals and people alike.
A recent opinion piece showed that OC pays no attention to its own Strategic Plan. A lot of the shelter’s effort goes instead into a facade of public relations. It produced a Fact Checker document to fend off criticism… but, as another opinion piece showed, it’s full of wrong or misleading statements.
OC’s self-reported numbers are a mess. Its 1st Quarter Statistics were wrong. It refuses to publish 2nd Quarter (April-June) statistics… almost three months after the end of the quarter. None of its recent statistics add up correctly, suggesting that some animals are unaccounted for.
A group of volunteers wrote detailed letters to elected officials:
- 8/16/2023 Letter sent to Officials by a Group of Experienced OC Animal Care Volunteers
- 9/22/2023 Follow-Up Letter by the Same Group of OC Animal Care Volunteers
These volunteers’ top request: Reopen the shelter to adopters. All large neighboring shelters allow adopters to visit available dogs in the kennel areas. OC is continuing a version of its pandemic-era protocol, requiring potential adopters to make an appointment in order to meet with no more than five dogs selected ahead of time.
The shelter’s website states:
All adopters must visit with the pet they are considering with a scheduled appointment prior to completing the adoption process. Our staff will evaluate the visit and help you determine if this is the right pet for you by providing more information about the pet. We are currently asking all adopting parties to be limited to 5 individuals at a time. Additionally, we do not hold available pets for adoption. Adoptions will continue to be first come first serve.
This method reduces adoptions. The result? The shelter is overcrowded, adding to the stress.
Visit OpenTheOCShelter.com, where you can Sign the Petition to reopen the shelter. If you are an Orange County resident, contact your elected officials. Visit OCShelter.com for all these links and more.