Adopted animals get bright side of pandemic
By Jessica Berget, Assistant Editor
“We have times where we post one animal and get 70 applications.”
If anything good can be said about this pandemic, it’s that it has helped adopted animals.
Back in March in the beginning of the lockdown, news outlets reported that SPCAs were being flooded with adoption applications. With more people staying home and not having to leave the house for work, many people had more time at home to care for pets. Nearly 10 months later, with some people coming back to work and others being laid off again because of the influx of cases, the Other Press finds out if the BC SPCA’s adoptions still have the same success rate.
According to Lorie Chortyk, the general manager and community relations of the BC SPCA, as far as animal adoptions go, business is still booming. She says they have adopted out thousands of animals since the pandemic including cats and kittens, dogs and puppies, other small animals, and even horses. The only thing that has really changed is the way they carry out adoptions with online meet and greets so people can meet their potential new pets while still following COVID regulations. When asked if any animals are being returned due to people having to go back to work, Chortyk says they have not seen any returns, and the already extremely low return rate for animals has also decreased, meaning less people are returning the animals they’ve adopted than before the pandemic.
Dianne Stebner, branch manager of the SPCA tri-cities adoption centre, also corroborates the steady flow of animal adoptions. “We have times where we post one animal and get 70 applications. People are looking to bring new family members home and by doing so are helping the BC SCPA to free up space and direct resources to animals in most urgent need of care.” Stebner also says this pandemic is the perfect time to adopt a pet, “These days can be the perfect time to bring a pet home since we are all spending more time at home. Ensure you have a plan for when things return to normal and that you will still have the time it takes to care for a pet for life,” she said in an email interview with the Other Press. The Surrey SPCA also says adoptions have been steady at their branch since the beginning of the lockdown. “In just one week in March we adopted over 300 animals across all of our branches […] It is not uncommon for one animal to receive over 20 applications in just one short day.” They also say their branch has not seen one COVID related return all year, and the organization has seen 50 percent fewer returns than past years.