OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Oak Ridge Animal Shelter is finally back to full operation today, after years of limited contact.

The community members and staff have been fighting for and dealing with capacity issues, in shelters across the country.

The ORAS is now allowing potential adopters to come through the doors without an appointment and with no restrictions. The shelter is home to more than a dozen dogs and cats all looking for their forever homes.

Volunteers at the shelter are welcoming the change and are happy to serve the pets and the public.

“I’m excited, when I came on board it was right before COVID had begun and of course everything was closed,” said Janice Ausmus, dog walking volunteer. “I don’t really know what it is like to work here with the doors open but I’m excited because the dogs will get the socialization they need, that’s really important to them.”

The shelter’s normal hours will be Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and there are plenty of ways to get involved as a volunteer. For more information, call the shelter at 865-425-3423.

To adopt a dog or cat, you can go to their location off Belgrade Road or visit the non-profit’s website.