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News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida and WUSF can help. Our responsibility at WUSF News is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

Pinellas Shelter Runs Out Of Dogs Available For Adoption Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Service dog in training sits on floor, leash to the side.
Thomas Iacobucci
/
WUSF Public Media
We'd show you a picture of the empty kennels at Pinellas County Animal Services in Largo, where a coronavirus-related surge in interest means all the dogs have been adopted out... but we thought this service dog in training was cuter.

If you were thinking of adopting a dog to keep you company during the coronavirus pandemic, you might want to look anywhere besides Pinellas County Animal Services.

As of earlier this week, the shelter no longer had a single dog in its care.

Seeing a substantial increase in adoptions from local residents in these past several weeks due to COVID-19, the county’s shelter had gotten to the point where every dog kennel was empty. 

“For the first time in years at Pinellas County Animal Services, our dog adoption program is completely adopted out,” said Animal Services Director Doug Brightwell. “That’s thanks to the community and the hard work of our volunteers and our staff.”

The increase in adoption rates comes in part to the county and state remaining under a Safer-at-Home Order. 

Across the state and country, many animal shelters have seen an influx in adoptions and fostering applications, as people are searching for a way to feel a little more at ease while being ordered to stay at home.

Pet adoption services are also considered an essential business under Governor DeSantis’ executive order, and with more dogs arriving at the shelter in the coming days, Brightwell encourages people to consider adoptions.

Pinellas County Animal Services is ensuring that its staff, volunteers and visitors are practicing safe social distancing, while continuing animal adoptions at the shelter.

Located at 12450 Ulmerton Road in Largo, Pinellas County Animal Services is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The lobby is closed to the public on Saturdays.

For more information on adoptions, visit www.pinellascounty.org/animalservices or call (727) 582-2600.

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