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Tulare County Animal Services Update

Tulare County Animal Services is available by appointment only.  Please click here for a pdf version of this update.
 

TULARE COUNTY ANIMAL SERVICES
SERVICES UPDATE
April 6, 2020

 

TCAS is dedicated to service to both the humans and animals of the community. In an effort to keep shelter animals, staff, and the community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tulare County Animal Services has modified operations and created a proactive plan to mitigate unnecessary gathering of people, and protect both the staff and the public. We would like to inform the residents of unincorporated Tulare County of the following:

COVID-19 and Pets

TCAS would like to assure the public that there is currently no evidence to suggest that domestic animals present a risk to humans regarding the SARS-CoV-2 virus. We ask that, in an abundance of caution as this is a novel virus, that you treat your pet like any other member of your household and refrain from close contact with your pet if you are sick and that you have a care plan in place for your pet in the event that you are temporarily unable to care for them.

Field Services

Our Animal Control Officers are dedicated to promoting public safety. At this time, our officers are focusing on emergency and urgent calls only, which may include: Law Enforcement assistance, calls for severely sick or injured animals, animal bite incidents, vicious animals, loose livestock causing a public safety concern, or other emergency calls for service.

Shelter Operations

TCAS is dedicated to saving lives, providing humane treatment to the animals in our care, and reuniting pets with their families. At this time, the shelter will be accessible to the public by appointment only. Please call the shelter at 559-636-4050 in order to plan your visit.

  • Looking for your lost pet?

Please check our website at www.tcanimalservices.org or www.petharbor.com in order to see all of the pets currently at the shelter. If you see your pet on the list, please call us to arrange to come pick them up. Don’t have the ability to look online? Call us and we will help you. Experiencing a financial hardship and afraid that you cannot pay the fines to reclaim your animal? TCAS is dedicated to getting your pet back into your care, please call and speak with us.

  • Looking to adopt a pet?

Please check the website for adoptable pets and call the shelter to arrange a meet and greet. At this time, we are doing adoptions by appointment in order to comply with social distancing guidelines.

  • Need to surrender your pet?

At this time we are delaying entry of all non-essential animals into the shelter. Please call us with questions and we can give you resources that may help you in the meantime.

  • Found a lost pet?

At this time we are delaying entry of all non-essential animals into the shelter, and are focusing on animals needing urgent attention. If you have found a stray animal who is not sick, injured, aggressive, or in need of urgent assistance, please file a Found Animal Report at www.tcanimalservices.org with a picture and your contact information. We appreciate the community’s patience and assistance as we strive to protect both our staff and the community, and conserve our resources for urgent and emergency cases during this time. Please call the shelter if the animal is injured, sick, or you have questions or need guidance. We are happy to help!

  • Have a feral cat or kittens?

At this time we are not taking in cats or kittens unless they are sick or injured. Please call the shelter if you have questions or need kitten care supplies. We have Kitten Care Packs with everything you might need to care for kittens found in the unincorporated areas of the County and will gladly support you in that process!

  • Need to license your pet?

You can license your pet online or through the mail! Please go to www.tcanimalservices.org for more information.

 

Thank you to our community for your patience during these unprecedented times, and for coming together to assist both the humans and animals of Tulare County!

 

Plan for Pets

COVID-19: Include Your Pets in Planning

Please click here for your Pet Care Plan.

With the number of diagnosed cases of COVID-19 increasing daily in the County, it is important that people make a care plan for their pets and livestock should they become sick and need to leave their home for treatment.

 “While Tulare County Animal Services remains dedicated to the welfare of both the animals and people of the community and continues to respond to urgent calls for service, the animal shelter does not have the ability to house a large influx of animals. We are urging the public to create a care plan for their pet in the unlikely event that they were temporarily unable to care for them.” –Cassie Heffington, Animal Services Manager, Tulare County Animal Services

To develop a pet care plan, pet owners are encouraged to:

  1. Identify a temporary caregiver for your pets – check with friends, family, and neighbors, or with pet-sitters and boarding kennels.
  2. Create a written emergency plan for each of your pets. Make sure to include:
    1. The name and contact information for your pet’s temporary caregiver. Be sure to include their cell phone number.
    2.  Your pet’s name, breed, and age.
    3.  Your veterinarian, their clinic name and phone number.
    4.  A copy of your pet’s vaccination records.
    5.  A description of any medical concerns for your pet and directions for any medications they take.
    6.  Your pet’s feeding schedule and directions.
  3. Put together a bag or storage box with supplies that your pet might need for two weeks (food, bowls, travel kennel, leash, cat litter, etc.). If your pet is on any medications, make sure to include a two-week supply. Set them aside with a copy of your plan where they can easily be found.

In the unlikely event that you are temporarily unable to care for you pets, having a good plan ahead of time will help provide you with peace of mind, knowing that they will continue to be well cared for in a comfortable environment.

Online Dog Licensing Payments Now Available for Residents of Unincorporated Areas of Tulare County

Tulare County Animal Services provides dog licensing services for all of the unincorporated areas of Tulare County.  If your dog gets lost, a valid license will identify the dog and his/her owner and allow us to reunite lost pets with their owners.  Having your dog licensed also shows that your dog has a current rabies vaccination.  Plus, dog licensing is the law.

To make the process easier, Tulare County Animal Services is now accepting online payments for dog licensing.  Both new and renewal dog licensing can be done online along with updating information on your dog. 

If you are not sure if your address is in the city limits or county please click on the Tulare County Elections website and enter your address.  If you live within the city limits of Dinuba, Exeter, Farmersville, Lindsay, Porterville, Tulare, Visalia or Woodlake, please contact your city's local dog licensing department.

VIP Petcare Donates to Tulare County Animal Services

Through VIP Petcare’s “buy one, give one” promotion they were able to donate over 500 rabies vaccinations and raised $1,020.19 for Tulare County Animal Services. VIP Petcare has been a shelter partner with Tulare County Animal Services for numerous years and generously donates supplies for our shelter. We greatly appreciate all their assistance to our shelter animals. VIP Petcare holds mobile community vaccination and wellness clinics each weekend throughout Tulare County, in Visalia, Tulare, Dinuba, and Porterville. Their website is www.vippetcare.com.

Animal Services is very appreciative of these donations and will be utilizing these donated rabies vaccinations through a community vaccination clinic.

WANTED: CAT VOLUNTEERS

Are you a cat person?

Do you love spending time with cats and kittens? Would you like to take care of and play with them on a part-time basis?

Tulare County Animal Services is seeking volunteers to assist in making sure our cats are happy and healthy at the PetSmart Adoption Centers in Visalia and Porterville! 

We need dedicated people to tend to the cats daily--make sure they all have food and water, clean their cages and litter boxes, and socialize (play!) with them. It usually only takes about an hour at most (but you can play with our friendly felines as long as you'd like!). We have morning shifts (sometime between 8am & 10am) and late afternoon/early evening shifts (sometime between 4pm & 6pm).

If interested, please contact us at (559) 636-4050 and/or fill out a volunteer application. It is available online, and you can return it electronically, by fax at (559) 713-3716, by mail, or stop by the shelter at 14131 Ave. 256 (just east of Lovers Lane) in Visalia. The kitties look forward to seeing you!

Tulare County Animal Services Offering 500 Free Microchips to County Residents

Microchipping animals provides a greater ability to reunite pets with owners and decrease the number of animals coming into shelters. Tulare County recently revised its Animal Ordinances effective as of June 1, 2019. These revised ordinances approved by the Board of Supervisors require all dogs in the unincorporated areas of Tulare County to be implanted with a microchip and the information provided to Tulare County Animal Services.

To help county residents comply with this new requirement, Tulare County Animal Services will be giving away 500 free microchips to Tulare County residents.  A photo ID is necessary to verify residency when bringing dogs to the shelter for microchipping. Dogs must be able to be handled, so no aggressive dogs will be eligible.

Pet ID Tag Microchip   

A microchip is one of the best ways to protect your dog or cat if it gets lost. This tiny chip, about the size of a grain of rice, is implanted under the skin at the shoulder blades; it cannot be lost, worn out, or removed. If your pet ever gets lost and is taken to an animal shelter or a veterinary clinic, the animal will be scanned to see if he or she is microchipped. If so, the identification number appears, and the pet’s owner can be found, because the number is linked to their information in a database.

All 500 microchip vouchers have now been given out.  Any outstanding microchip vouchers are being extended due to COVID-19.  Please contact the shelter for updates.

Changes to Tulare County Animal Services Ordinances

Tulare County Animal Services strives to improve the safety and quality of life for the animals and residents of Tulare County. Therefore, to clarify and enhance the ordinances, revisions were approved by the Board of Supervisors at their April 30th meeting. Community members in the unincorporated areas of Tulare County are affected by the changes.

“This has been a three-year process in collaboration with the Animal Services Advisory Committee and the Ordinance and Standards Review Ad Hoc Committee, with review of industry best practices and extensive research and review from the County Counsel's office, culminating in meetings with community stakeholders and the public,” says Animal Services Division Manager Patrick Hamblin. “Changes to the ordinances continue to bring Tulare County Animal Services online with other forward-thinking counties and the State of California."

The Animal Services Advisory Committee has been integral to the proposed changes. Public meetings held last fall, and public comment through our website resulted in additional revisions to the ordinances.

Key changes include:

  • Addition of commercial kennel and rescue organization minimum standards
  • Expands definitions with a change to define adult dogs as being nine (9) months or older
  • Requires all dogs to be implanted with a microchip and the information provided to Animal Services, to have a greater ability to reunite pets with owners and decrease impounded animals
  • All dogs to be spayed or neutered by six (6) months of age
    • Exceptions include police dogs, licensed unaltered dogs, dogs to whom this would be detrimental (with written veterinarian allowance), and those whose owners apply for an unaltered license
  • Implementing a maximum number of dogs for kennel permit holders
  • Limiting the number of breeder permits issued to commercial breeders and kennel operations
    • Individuals would have an allowance of one permit per household
  • To promote responsible pet ownership through the kennel and breeder process, a violations process has been proposed for kennel operators and for individuals without a kennel permit
  • Live animals may not be sold, bartered, gifted, or transferred at swap meets within county jurisdictions

The ordinance revisions expand definitions to create clarity, acknowledge the county’s pet overpopulation issue, and maintain the commitment to the mission, vision, and values for both the Animal Care and Adoptions facility operations and the Animal Control function.