Were more pets adopted due to quarantine?
While some area pet shelters reported adoption increases during quarantine, others report lower numbers due to fewer furry friends available for adoption.
While some area pet shelters reported adoption increases during quarantine, others report lower numbers due to fewer furry friends available for adoption. At Underdog Pet Rescue of Wisconsin, the numbers jumped in March, April, May and likely June:
2019 Adoptions: 84
2020 Adoptions: 143
2019 Adoptions: 90
2020 Adoptions: 200
2019 Adoptions: 106
2020 Adoptions: 188
2019 Adoptions: 116
2020 Projection: 200
Numbers from a national database, 24PetWatch, show a different narrative. In the data retrieved from 1,191 different organizations nationwide from March 13, 2020, through May 22, 2020, the overall intake of animals into shelters decreased in comparison to the same months last year. The intake of dogs went down by 45%, and cats by 47%. Adoptions, consequently, decreased by 30% in comparison to 2019.
The Dane County Humane Society’s statistics align with the nationwide trend in the months of March, April and May. With the animal transfer program currently on pause (as well as a decrease in owner surrenders and strays), shelter intake for the DCHS was down 37% from March 2019, 84% from April 2019 and 73% from May 2019. Additionally, adoption rates have accompanied the downward trend over the last few months. Compared to the 280 animal adoptions during April 2019 and 241 in May 2019, this year observed 43 adoptions in April and 46 in May.
“Overall, our daily animal population is far lower than usual, as is the number of animals we have available for adoption,” says Amy Good, director of development and marketing at DCHS. “The companion animals we do have available usually have multiple people on a waiting list to meet them.”
The transfer program at the Wisconsin Humane Society was also frozen from early March until the last week of May. But at the beginning of the society’s COVID-19 response, WHS locations put out a call to the public to help empty out the shelters through adoption and foster, and for the first time ever, the organization ran out of available animals. As a result, the numbers from the past few months are low — animal population was down about 80% compared to a typical spring. However, intake and adoptions increase in the summer, so the downward trend will likely climb upward.