All across the country, people are finding ways to adapt to our new stay-at-home normal, and for some, that means adopting a furry friend. Shelters in the US have reported an increase in adoptions since the start of the pandemic, some of which have had to create waitlists or pause applications until they can rescue more animals. Petfinder.com, which works with shelters and rescue organizations throughout the country, saw adoption inquiries jump 122 percent between March 15th and April 15th.
It’s led to a unique set of issues that many shelters haven’t faced before: juggling increased applications for pet adoptions and foster homes while having to adjust to their new circumstances.
Many rescue organizations have had to close their adoption and medical facilities, and with that change has come a shift in strategy. Their first concern was how to ensure their animals were well taken care of with limited staff and closed shelters. For many organizations, the answer is fostering. “Thanks to our extensive network of volunteers, we were able to temporarily move most of the animals in our care into foster homes,” says Kirstin Burdett, senior manager of admissions and matchmaking at the ASPCA Adoption Center, “enabling us to focus on the most vulnerable animals and support animal welfare partners who need our help.”