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Flora N. Beal
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Miami-Dade Animal Services adapts to challenges of COVID-19

Residents should avoid surrendering pets at this time and consider serving as "on call" fosters

MIAMI ( March 19, 2020 )

Miami-Dade Animal Services Department (ASD) is adapting to the challenges of COVID-19.

ASD asks residents to avoid surrendering pets unless absolutely necessary due to a medical emergency of the owner. This request follows guidelines set by the National Animal Care & Control Association (NACA), which has advised animal shelters to take extra measures to reduce shelter intake to mitigate the short and long-term effects of COVID-19.

The World Health Organization (WHO) released a statement saying there is no evidence that dogs or cats can be infected or spread the virus that causes COVID-19.

ASD is continuing adoption services, lost-pet return and rescue at the Pet Adoption and Protection Center (PAPC) in Doral and also attending to injured or sick pets. Animal Welfare Officers continue to answer high priority and emergency calls. The Petco adoption center in South Miami will also be open for adoptions. In addition, ASD is currently waiving all adoption fees.

ASD is looking for “on call” emergency fosters who can temporarily provide in-home care for shelter pets during this crisis. Fosters are needed for all types of pets; however, the most urgent housing needs are for medium and large dogs and pets with special needs. ASD will provide fosters with veterinary care, supplies, and food for fostered pets. Interested fosters can email: [email protected].

ASD is also asking anyone who finds friendly stray pets to consider fostering them until the shelter can resume normal operations. Pets typically stay close to home when they go missing. Good Samaritans can use the following resources to help lost pets:

  • Look for any identification on the pet, including phone number, address and/or the Miami-Dade County license with a QR code.
  • Download the Finding Rover Facial Recognition app:
  • Bring the pet to a veterinary clinic or to ASD to check for a microchip.
  • Visit the ASD website to register the found pet here.

ASD has temporarily suspended the issuance of civil violations notices associated with rabies vaccination and license renewals. Owners are encouraged to ensure their pets are protected against rabies. You may visit your private veterinary office. ASD will also remain open to provide this service using precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the employees, pet owners and pets. 

Residents may renew licenses for their pets by mail. Pet owners will be given a 30-day grace period for late license submittal. For more information on licensing, click here.

For more information about local impacts of coronavirus on humans and guidance for keeping yourself and others healthy, see