Photo: Riverside County Animal Services

Pet Shelters ‘Sold Out’ of Adoptable Animals Due to COVID-19

by Eben Diskin Apr 13, 2020

Shortages are nothing new during the coronavirus pandemic, but there’s one kind of shortage that we don’t mind at all. As all over the country people are finding themselves at home, sometimes lonely, they’ve seemingly come to the collective conclusion that the way to beat the isolation blues is by adopting a furry friend. At the Riverside County animal shelter in Riverside, California, demand was so high for pet adoptions that the shelter ran out of adoptable animals.

Luckily, shelters are considered essential businesses, so the desire to adopt or foster a pet is a lot easier to satisfy than quenching your thirst at a brewery. Late last month, the Riverside County Department of Animal Services began to see a spike in adoptions as people turned to pets for comfort during these difficult times.

And it’s not just Riverside that’s suddenly flush with new pet owners. All across the country, shelters are reportedly seeing record numbers of adoptions for dogs, cats, and other animals.

Dr. Apryl Steele, president and CEO of the Dumb Friends League shelter in Denver, Colorado, told ABC 7 News, “We have a waiting list of 2,000 people wanting to foster. We had people reaching out to us all of a sudden. People just wanted to do something to help. We realized pretty quickly that we could soon be facing a shutdown of our adoptions and got on board.”

In Chicago, every animal from Chicago Animal Care and Control has been adopted — the first time that’s ever happened in the organization’s history. Since the Chicago stay-at-home order took effect on March 21, thousands of people have submitted applications to adopt dogs and cats at Chicago’s shelters, reported Block Club Chicago.

Julia Popkatch, a spokesperson for PAWS Chicago, said, “It’s times like these that we see the best in our community. From the beginning of this COVID-19 crisis, the outpouring of care and concern for our animals has been extraordinary. It shows how our community cares deeply about homeless animals and wants to be there for cats and dogs in times of crisis.”

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