Back in March, America had a fine idea. They’d endure the lockdown by adopting a pet. As it turns out, not so much.
Over in America, the huddled, nervous masses had a bright idea. They’d rub some love into the pandemic lockdown, and adopt a pet to see them through the long afternoons to come.
At the time, there was much congratulation. Animal shelters prepared for the great adoption boom of 2020. But, despite the initial interest, it seems that their great love was a but nothing but a hollow ‘you up?’ text at 3 am.
According to 24HourPetWatch (who is a pet microchip company that collects data from roughly 1,500 US shelters and rescue centres), adoptions of dog buddies and feline overlords have decreased by a third when compared to this time last year.
In this time of lockdown, shelters have had a hard time filling up with new animals they can pair with potential owners.
But Matt Bershadker, (who is the president and chief executive officer at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has a different take. According to Bershadker, the dip in the numbers is partially due to the fact that his organisation has had to close its shelter doors in New York due to safety concerns.
The problem also seems to circle around the fickle nature of opportunity. In this time of lockdown, it seems that shelters are having had a hard time filling up with new animals they can pair with potential owners. “We simply aren’t able to intake enough animals with the three closed county shelters not taking stray animals and what appears to be a decrease in owner surrenders during this time,” Patricia Kennedy, the executive director of City Dog Rescue in Washington, DC, told DCist.
According to Quartz, “Bershadker notes that because so many animals are in foster homes now, adoption rates should increase again soon. Instead of reinstating in-person shelter adoptions, though, applications will continue to be conducted virtually until the animals can reach their long-term homes.”