Pet adoption rate skyrockets amid pandemic

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Sydney Bowler

One of the cats at The Capital Area Humane Society lounges on a bed in its room.

The Capital Area Humane Society has had many more pets adopted than in previous years, likely due to the fact that the pandemic is giving owners more free time. This year there have been more than 2,700 adoptions. The Humane Society’s director of community relations attributes this to people having more free time at home. Penny Myers said, “People have time to bring their pets in and get them acclimated, and now if you get a puppy you have more time to train them.”

People are still welcome to come meet pets and see if one is right for them. The CAHS staff has been working hard to ensure that everything is thoroughly sanitized, and social distancing is in place at all times.

The number of fostered pets has increased as well. According to Katy Hansen, director of marketing and communications at Animal Care Centers of NYC, 25% of foster dogs were permanently adopted by their temporary home. Before COVID-19, the foster-turned-adopter rate was 10%.

Grand Valley State University student Meredith Berry is fostering a cat through the Humane Society of West Michigan. She decided to do so because of how often she is at home for online classes.  

Berry said, “I decided to foster so I could have a companion while I’m spending a lot of time at home. I chose to have him adopted out of home, so I’ll keep him until he is placed somewhere permanent. I think he’s much happier here than at a shelter, and I’m so happy to have him.” 

Pets have received better health care according to receptionist Sydney Jones, who works at The Animal Rehabilitation Facility in Dexter.

“We’ve absolutely seen more pets since COVID hit. People are having that chance to stay home with their pet and they’re either noticing that something is wrong, or they’re playing a little too hard,” said Jones. 

The Animal Rehabilitation Facility received many new, interested clients and has consultations scheduled all the way to March 2021.

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