Every year, Brevard County’s animal shelters – divided into a South Animal Care Center and a North Animal Care Center – take in more than 15,000 animals.
“We are an open admission shelter that must take every domestic animal that is turned into us,” says Jennifer Kerr, volunteer coordinator for Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement. “The mission of Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement is to provide a safe community for the citizens as well as the animals we serve, enforce animal code Section 14 (regarding proper treatment of animals), and provide a clean and safe environment for the animals placed in our care.”
This mission has been carried out for more than a decade.
“We take in every homeless pet brought to us for care,” says Edward Becht, a volunteer animal care assistant for Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement. “We do not turn away any animal based on age, health issues, behavioral problems or tendencies toward aggression.”
Becht says that other local animal shelters are limited-admission shelters, meaning that they select animals that they can house for adoption due to limited space.
“We house domestic animals, mostly cats and dogs,” he says. “Between the two shelters, we may have as many as 150 dogs and 250 cats at a time. We also house other small animals from time to time, including pigs, birds, gerbils, snakes, hamsters, rats, rabbits and chickens.”
Benefits of adopting animals from the North and South Animal Care Centers include reasonable adoption fees and included shots, tags and microchips. However, the most rewarding aspect of adopting is the feeling of saving a life.
“With a limited amount of space, many animals are put to death to accommodate the incoming animals,” Becht says. “When an animal is adopted, it frees another kennel and possibly saves a life.”
“We wish there wasn’t a need for the county’s animal shelters,” he adds. “That would mean that every animal had a forever home.”