ACAR pauses animal intakes

Alachua County Animal Resources and Care shelter
The Alachua County Animal Resources shelter in Gainesville.
Photo by C.J. Gish

The Alachua County Animal Resources (ACAR) announced on Tuesday it will pause all intakes at its Gainesville shelter.

According to an Alachua County release, ACAR has experienced a large surge in recent weeks of animals. The shelter will pause intakes unless an animal is in critical need of our care due to illness, injury, or a threat to public safety.

ACAR’s goal is to adopt animals quickly, but the recent influx has exceeded the shelter’s capacity and is unhealthy for the animals and staff, according to the county.

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The shelter had to turn away intakes in June after reaching capacity. Two major summer adoption events helped alleviate the situation and the shelter was able to lift its intake ban in August.

Those who want to foster or adopt one of their animals should contact ACAR at 352-264-6870 or visit ACAR’s website.

Those wanting to volunteer at ACAR should fill out an online application. ACAR spent time over the summer enhancing its volunteer program.

The shelter will remain open to the public for adoptions and reclaims. The Animal Resource Officers will continue to respond to calls from the community concerning public safety. Residents should call 911 in the event of an emergency. The shelter staff will still be available to assist animals that are brought in by bystanders—not owners—needing immediate veterinary treatment. 

The shelter instructs that if you find a free-roaming pet and choose to get involved, attempt to locate the owner. The following are tips for reuniting pets with their owners: 

  • Think lost, not stray.  Many animals never return home because the finder assumes the animal has been abandoned or dumped when the animal has just accidentally gotten out.
  • Their owner may be frantically looking for their pet but doesn’t know the best way to go about it. Pets that have been out for even a short time may start to look neglected and may appear frightened or skittish, giving the impression that they were abused or abandoned.
  • Secure the pet, look for any injuries, and provide water. Note the exact location you found the pet. If possible, walk the pet around the neighborhood, asking others if they recognize it.
  • Check for an identifying rabies tag or name tag. Call and text the owners OR call AR&C with the rabies tag number.
  • Check for a microchip at any vet clinic.
  • Take a photo of the pet in good lighting. Get a front-on nose shot that shows the pet’s face and complete a “Found Pet” form by clicking here.
  • After filling out the “Found Pet” form, please also post the found pet on your neighborhood and local lost and found social media pages.
  • Gainesville Pet Finder is one of Alachua County’s main Lost and Found Facebook groups along with Nextdoor, where you can post specific to your neighborhood.
  • Do not mention gender or collar details. Remember, the goal is to locate the owner, not re-home the pet immediately. If you are contacted by another person directly claiming to be the owner, ask for proof of ownership before returning the pet. If you aren’t sure what to do, contact AR&C for assistance.
  • Post signs in the neighborhood. Include a photo and your contact info. 

For more information, contact ACAR Director Julie Johnson at 352-258-9047.

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