New Animal Services Building

Updated July 2023


Orange County Animal Services (OCAS) is the only open admission pet shelter in Orange County, meaning no domestic animal in need is turned away, regardless of any behavior or medical challenges. The health and wellbeing of these pets is of the utmost importance to Orange County and its community. While most animals are ideal candidates for adoption or rescue placement, a small percentage come to the shelter suffering from long-term and profound health problems or with aggressive behavior that poses a risk to others. In fiscal year 2022, Orange County Animal Services accepted more than 15,000 animals and secured live release placement for 95% of the dogs and 88% of the cats, for an overall live release rate of 91%.

The current shelter that accepts and houses these pets was built in 1987 and was at that point in time considered state-of-the-art, featuring open air kennels for the primary dog building. The building has gone through a number of renovations over the past decade, aimed at improving the comfort of the shelter pets.

To best meet the current and future needs of the community’s homeless animal population, a new shelter is needed and the project is advancing under the administration of Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings.

New Shelter

  • The new animal shelter will be 80,000 – 100,000 square feet in size.
  • The building will be on the same plot of land as the current facility, adjacent to the Mall at Millenia.

Current Status

On March 22, 2022, the Board of County Commissioners selected Bacon Group, Inc. for design of the new Animal Services facility.

The new shelter is currently in the design phase.

Shelter phase progress, design stage.

Members of the Orange County community are invited to provide input on the developing building via this brief survey.

Recent Projects to Improve the Existing Structure

Temporary Portable Air Conditioning for the Summer in the Kennels: COMPLETE

  • Installation of a temporary portable air conditioning unit and associated ductwork for the dog kennels.
  • Temporary air conditioning was provided for the Summer of 2022 and Summer of 2023 and will be utilized for the summer months until the new shelter is built with an annual cost of $50,000 to $100,000.

Interaction Yard Shade Sail Infill: COMPLETE

  • Additional shade sails were added to infill the shade sails over the west interaction Yards.
  • The approximate cost was $60,000 and the work was completed in May 2023.

Roof Coating for Heat Relief: COMPLETE

  • Roof of building 300, used for dog housing, coated in white sealant, completed in August 2019.
  • Upper windows closed and painted to block sunlight.
  • Surface temperature on roof dropped from 120 – 135 degrees to 88 – 92 degrees.
  • The approximate cost was $50,000 and the work was completed in August 2019.

Interaction Yards Project: COMPLETE

  • Construction of two additional play yards on side of building 300
  • Anticipated cost is $175,000 anticipated completion date by spring 2018.
  • Funding for the project was approved by the Orange County Board of County Commissioners on Dec. 4, 2017.
  • The approximate cost was $210,000 and was completed in August 2018.

Cat Building Project: COMPLETE

  • Cat building, also known as building 500, was renovated to be fully enclosed, have an HVAC system and commercial doors
  • This project was approved by Board of County Commissioners with an approximate cost of $550,000 and was completed in fall 2017.

Ventilation Project: COMPLETE

  • Upgraded ventilation in the dog building, also known as building 300, will improve air flow for the benefit of pets and shelter guests.
  • Although not an air cooling system, the new ventilation does promote better air circulation, which did combat rising summer temperatures.
  • In addition, the design of this ventilation system is credited with helping the shelter combat the 2017 canine influenza outbreak in Florida.
  • The approximate cost was $450,000 and was completed in the summer of 2017.

Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Study: COMPLETE

  • In July 2016, OCAS requested a feasibility study to assess the total financial impact, challenges and benefits relevant to the installation of an HVAC system within its shelter. The original building, constructed in 1987, featured national design-standard open air circulation. The building was not constructed to serve as an adoption center, rather a temporary emergency holding location for dogs in the custody of animal control.
  • The building is currently equipped with a ventilation system that moves air and helps curtail the spread of disease but does not produce cool air.
  • Sick or infirmed animals can be cared for in an area that has conditioned air. The cost of the study was $15,000.
  • The proposed options ranged from $350,000 - $2.8 million, with monthly expenses in the thousands.
  • Portable air conditioning units were considered in the study; however with the design of the building would likely offer little relief.
  • Orange County’s Capital Project division brought the study results to the Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, who opted to upgrade the ventilation of the current facility and explore the idea of a new shelter and asked for a later presentation on that subject.

About Us