Because the new stay-at-home orders are giving folks a lot more free time, many people are using this as an excuse to adopt a new companion. US shelters have reported major increases in adoptions since the start of the pandemic. Many have had to create waitlists or even pause adoptions so they can rescue more animals in order to fulfill the unexpected demand.
Many shelters have never had the lucky issue of having too much adoption interest, especially when dealing with an unprecedented global health scare.
While many shelters have had to close their medical centers and limit staff, others are finding new and unique ways to move along the adoption processes. New procedures such as virtual meet and greets and online adoption events have started to become popular.
"Some of our centers are still doing appointment-only, safe, socially-distanced in-person adoptions,” says Hannah Stember of the Best Friends Animal Society.
Aside from having to wrestle with social distancing guidelines, shelters typically have a busy spring as it is. Cats that have not been neutered or spayed mate in the warmer months and then litters of homeless kittens are born. Rescue teams will have to work harder than before, and then more pets will inevitably be available for adoption.
Virtual adoptions go just as smoothly as in-person adoptions, and shelters are there to work with you through each step to ensure your virtual match blooms into a great in-person match, as well.