Orange County Animal Services is a county run, taxpayer funded shelter that states on its website;
“Animal Services exists to help both the people and pets in this area”
As an open admission shelter it is responsible for taking in stray pets as well as owner surrenders and adoptions for the sizeable Orange County. Although the public may assume that it’s 8-14 million dollar annual budget for each fiscal year would include “helping both the people and pets in this area”, numerous negative reviews from adopters paint a very different picture.
Reviews on Yelp include an adopter that unknowingly adopted a dog in March of 2021 with severe aggression that attacked his wife twice and he later found out that the dog had “a long history of aggression” that was not disclosed to him prior to adoption.
Another adopter on Yelp states; “Worst experience ever” another reads; “worst experience I’ve ever had”, and another reviewer states; “this place is an absolute joke”.
Another reviewer on Yelp states; “they adopt out sick kittens and throw the billing on you. I had my foster kitten for a day and already had to take her to the ER hospital paying a grand to save a cat that might not make it. Very upset kittens lose their lives because of this place”.
And finally, one Yelp reviewer warns the public; “you have to be financially stable and patient when it comes to getting a dog here. The dog we [adopted] took $2k to save. Guess what they put on his card? He’s shy, friendly and only needs a teeth cleaning.”
Google reviews aren’t any better with complaints about filthy conditions and illness issues plastered throughout. One complaint from a mom that adopted a puppy from the shelter for her young son described that within only days of arriving home she had to rush it to the vet where it tested positive for the deadly Parvo Virus, costing her $3300 dollars in medical bills, but the puppy ended up losing his life.
Overall, Orange County Animal Services shelter has a long history of terrible reviews, showing a clear lack of leadership at the shelter, and no oversight by County leaders.
On Yelp, 52 reviews shows almost HALF of the reviewers are extremely unhappy, giving only 1 and 2 stars. 24 reviews detail a litany of complaints, many for illnesses that weren’t disclosed before adoption which cost the adopters sometimes thousands of dollars in veterinary care. Many of the reviews issued strong warnings to others to stay away, to “keep your family safe” from injury, heartbreak, or financial hardships that may occur from patronizing the shelter.
To make matters worse, on Google reviews, the shelter rating is exactly the same rating as a pet store that the County is attempting to close down due to some complaints. If the County run shelter with a taxpayer budget of 8-14 million dollars annually is no better than a local pet store that they are trying to shut down, that identifies there is a problem.
Orange County Commissioners as well as the Mayor of Orange County seem to be tone deaf or completely ignorant to the fact that Orange County residents are screaming loudly their complaints with what is going on at the taxpayer funded shelter, and their complaints are not being heard. Both the public and the animals in the shelter are suffering dire consequences due to a lack of action.