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Animal Welfare News

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View all City of OKC Animal Welfare news below. You can find older links by using the Archived News link.

OKC Animal Welfare suspends most intake of pets surrendered by owners to protect public health during COVID-19 pandemic

Post Date:04/03/2020 10:37 AM

OKC Animal Welfare is suspending intake of pets surrendered by their owners, with limited exceptions, to protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Public animal shelters like ours are doing everything they can around the country to protect staff and visitor health, while still meeting the needs of homeless pets in our community,” said OKC Animal Welfare Superintendent Jon Gary. “This will help us not only further limit the number of people in our shelter, but also reduce the number of animals coming into our care while we have fewer adoptions.”

Exceptions will be made for dangerous animals, and animals with medical needs.

OKC Animal Welfare has multiple staff members in self-quarantine because of either COVID-19 symptoms or possible exposure to the virus. With the number likely to increase, it’s critical to keep the number of pets in the shelter as low as possible to ensure the animals get appropriate care.

OKC Animal Welfare will also step up public education about its available resources to help pet owners deal with problems that may lead them to try to surrender their pets. That includes a pet food bank and tips to overcome problematic behaviors in dogs and cats.

The suspension of most intake services could help prevent a complete shutdown of all non-emergency intake, as has been seen in other large cities in Oklahoma and nationwide.

OKC Animal Welfare has also taken a number of other steps to protect public health while still providing critical services:

  • Adoption fees are cut in half to $30 to help ensure homeless pets are still adopted as the shelter enters its busy season.
  • Adoptions are by appointment only. Visit to make an appointment. They’re offered every 15 minutes from noon to 5 p.m. If you don’t have Internet access, call (405) 297-3100 to schedule an appointment.
  • Only 10 visitors at a time will be allowed inside the shelter.
  • Drop-off of stray animals is moved to a drive-through area to reduce the number of people who need to enter the shelter.
  • Volunteer work inside the shelter is suspended.
  • Observation visiting is suspended.
  • Adoption and volunteer events are canceled

Visit for the latest local COVID-19 news, guidance and City services updates.

The OKC Animal Welfare shelter, 2811 SE 29th Street, is open for adoptions noon to 5 p.m. every day but holidays.

All adoptable animals at OKC Animal Welfare are up-to-date on vaccinations, microchipped, treated for worms and spayed or neutered.

For more information, visit or call (405) 297-3100.

OKC Animal Welfare launched the Alive in the 405 campaign last year to raise awareness about reaching its longtime goal of a 90% live release rate. Click here for more information about Alive in the 405.

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Media Contact
Jon Gary
(405) 297-3116

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