5 quirkiest shutdowns

October 2, 2013, 2:55 PM UTC
Since Tuesday, the federal government's shutdown has sent more than 800,000 federal workers home without pay. Essential services are up and running, but things like national parks are closed; back office workers and marine biologists have been sent home as Congress continues its standoff. There's no denying this shutdown is serious; it could cost the economy billions of dollars, depending how long it lasts and when Congress resolves its budget plans. For now, at least, some quirky casualties of the shutdown have emerged: Most of us have heard the beloved panda cam at the National Zoo is down; the closely watched monthly jobs report that was supposed to be released Friday will now be delayed. Here are a few more:

Horse adoption

Thinking about getting a horse for little Suzy? Don't count on the federal government. As part of the shutdown, the Bureau of Land Management has ceased its wild horse adoption program. For years, the agency has been rounding up wild horses out west, keeping and caring for the animals and offering them for adoption. The goal is to manage lands' limited resources -- water, vegetation, and the like. Interested owners will have to wait. For now, they can browse the gallery of wild horses available for adoption here.


All national parks are closed. This means things like picnics and camping trips will have to wait. And so will saying "I do" at any of the monuments and national parks where weddings are also held. The shutdown has forced at least some couples to scramble for another venue, as the Wall Street Journal reported. Mike Cassessso and MaiLien Le were to wed Saturday at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, where they had their first date, but the shutdown caused them to scramble for another venue. CNNMoney reports that Genevieve Jeuck and Michael Sallemi had planned to wed at the Grand Canyon but now have to make other arrangements. Depending how long the shutdown lasts, Uncle Sam may have to deal with a few angry bridezillas.


Not even a simple game of football could escape the shutdown. The Department of Defense has canceled all intercollegiate athletics contests at Air Force, Army, and Navy. And for all those eager to catch this Saturday's sold-out football between the Navy Midshipmen and Air Force Falcons in Annapolis, Md., it's uncertain if the game will happen. A decision will be made Thursday, but USA Today reports the game would likely be postponed if the Congressional budget impasse extends through the weekend.

Winery permits

As part of the government shutdown, it almost goes without saying that applicants will have to wait longer to get all sorts of government permits -- from drilling to gun possession. And it will also delay work on that winery where you were hoping to retire. Yup! Winery permit processors will be staying home until Congress can agree on a deal.

Flu shots

On a more serious note, just as flu season rolls around, the federal agency that monitors the spread of the flu and determines how to best direct vaccine programs around the country will be out of business. The Centers for Disease Control will "be unable to support the annual seasonal influenza program, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Hopefully this shutdown ends soon, and nothing big breaks out before that.