Shelters have been experiencing a spike in pet adoptions and fostering amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Sara Brasky, the founder of Foster Dogs Inc, said that the demand for dogs is “totally unprecedented.” In the last month they had more than a 1000% increase in foster applications.
“Animals provide incredible comfort and companionship, especially during times of crisis — and they certainly appreciate the attention — so we encourage people to continue to adopt or temporarily foster animals in need,” expressed Matt Bershadker, president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Non profit associations like Muddy Paws Rescue reported that the number of applications has increased tenfold in only two weeks. Even when the interest in adoption has boomed during the health crisis,some shelters have changed the process to an appointment only basis because of the social distancing restrictions. This makes the process longer to potential adopters since they have to go to a shelter for a meeting.
Other places decided to opt in for virtual meetings. Puppy Kitty NYC is showcasing their available pets through the app Zoom and Bidaewee is doing video calls with foster families.
There are still dogs and cats that need to be rescued, but efforts are limited since there are restrictions on travel and human contact. "I cannot speak for every shelter but I do know a number of shelters around the United States are putting a hold on their intake" said Krista MacDonald, director of rescue programs at Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue.
It might be hard finding new things to do during tough times, that’s why people are getting pets to get companionship during the isolation period, this provides comfort and distractions and at the same time, it gives animals the chance to feel loved in a new family.