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How to Adopt Your Next Best Furry Friend in Lee County

Jun 06, 2023 08:00AM ● By Ann Marie O’Phelan

Shepard from Lee County Domestic Animal Services

Animal lovers all know that having a pet brings a wealth of benefits. Moreover, studies have shown that having a pet or even interacting with animals has been shown to lower stress and blood pressure. Animals can reduce loneliness, add to one’s feelings of social support, and boost moods. Indeed, while they take time and effort, and costs are involved, pets give back so much more in return.

Those looking to adopt a furry friend should check out the local shelters first such as Lee County Domestic Animal Services and the Gulf Coast Humane Society. Continue reading for more information about the where and how to adopt a pet in Lee County and the surrounding areas.

Lee County Domestic Animal Services

Danni from Lee County Domestic Animal Services

At the Lee County Domestic Animal Services, there is an excellent selection of adoptable pets to choose from along with resources such as pet licensing. 

“What’s great about adopting is that you save a life,” says Karen Fordiani, Public Information Specialist for LCDAS. 

Although one can sometimes find a shelter puppy or kitten, adult animals offer benefits, as they may be already house-trained, and have some obedience training and socialization. Plus, the cost of adopting from a shelter is far less. LCDAS is celebrating National Take Your Pet to Work Week from June 19 through June 23. 

“People can adopt a canine or feline friend as their new co-worker! Throughout June, adoption fees will be $30 on all adult dogs and $20 for cats and kittens,” explains Fordiani. 

Right now, it is kitten season, and many kittens are available for foster and adoption. The shelter also offers its new ‘Weekend Warrior’ program for dogs. 

“This program is for those who may not be ready for a permanent commitment or want to give a shelter pet a much-needed break. You can foster for a weekend, week, or a lifetime should you fall in love!” says Fordiani. 

For more information, Lee County Domestic Animal Services, 5600 Banner Drive, Fort Myers, 239-533-7387,

Gulf Coast Humane Society

The Gulf Coast Humane Society takes in over 3,000 homeless animals annually, so the choices are endless. 

“These shelter animals are well deserving of a forever home and a part of a family,” says Brian Wierima, Community Relations Coordinator. 

GCHS has a few upcoming events and fundraisers, such as the comedy event on Tuesday, June 20, at Rumrunner’s in Cape Coral, where performers as seen on MTV, VH1, TMZ Live, and The Howard Stern Show will be appearing. Use the ticket link or mention GCHS at checkout, and $10/ticket purchased will be donated to Gulf Coast Humane Society. 

More great fun is the 70’s and 80’s Dance Party and Costume Contest fundraiser on Friday, June 23, at the Indigo Room in Downtown Fort Myers at 2219 Main Street. Purchase tickets in advance at or visit and click “Events.”

Those interested in helping in other ways can assist with donating dry dog/cat food of any brand or size for the shelter’s pet food pantry rooms. To make a pet food donation, drop off, or have a delivery sent to 2010 Arcadia Street, Fort Myers, FL 33916, visit for further details. 

“GCHS welcomes pet food pantry walk-ins but needs help with food donations to keep up with the demand,” explains Wierima. 

GCHS also attends the Lee County VA Clinic’s food pantry every third Wednesday of the month. All distribution is dependent on pet food donations from the community. Visit to find your Forever Friend or find more ways you can help the shelter. Gulf Coast Humane Society & Veterinary Clinic, 2010 Arcadia Street, Fort Myers, 239-332-0364.

Ann Marie O’Phelan is a SW Florida resident and a regular contributor to TOTI Media.