An Unexpected Development During Pandemic: D.C. Pet Shelters Are Running Out of Pets

The D.C. region is experiencing a very unexpected problem that is becoming increasingly common in the country: too many dogs are being adopted! The Washington Post reports on this unusual development where, as the coronavirus pandemic continues onward and people do their best to remain safe at home as much as possible, pet adoption numbers have soared. Now, Washingtonians join other parts of the country where animal shelters struggle to feed the high demand for furry stay-at-home companions.

Some shelters in Maryland report almost 40 percent increases of pet adoption over 2019 statistics, and it’s a standard met by various other shelters and animal rescues throughout the region. Even with the pandemic requiring Zoom calls and virtual meet-and-greets with animals in lieu of in-person adoptions, many Americans are finding it difficult to adopt their new pets from local shelter services.

I never met a pet I didn't like. - Andy Warhol

I am a huge animal lover. I prefer to rescue any of the pets that I have had. - A. J. McLean

WaPo cites Shelter Animals Count, a national database that tracks sheltered animal statistics, which reports 26,000 more pet adoptions over the past year than in 2019. This burst of activity seems a reasonable effect of stay-at-home orders, but has actually led to circumstances where shelters are reaching out to facilities in other states to help provide adoptable pets to local pet-parents-in-waiting.

Time will tell whether this pet adoption boom persists while vaccines become available to more and more Americans. For now, though, shelters and animal rescues are doing their best to meet the demand of new adopters in the new year however they can. If anyone reading this is one of those expectant adopters: please remain patient, your new furry friend may take longer than usual to arrive, but they’ll be there.

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