Pet Adoption Stories
Pet adoption rates soared during the pandemic. According to the organization Shelter Animals Count, which tracks around 500 rescue groups in the United States, adoptions were up 15% in 2020 from 2019 (Washington Post). That’s about 26,000 more animals who found homes. These statistics do not even include animals adopted through social media sites or purchased from breeders. According to one study, the demand for pets increased as "social isolation became more stringent” (Nature.com). On this page of the exhibit, you will find submissions documenting stories of pet adoption during the pandemic.
Below those heartwarming stories, however, you will also find stories of financial stress and surrender. In the United States, the unemployment rate soared to 14.8%, a number not seen since 1948. Between January 2020 and April 2020, 22.1 million American jobs disappeared (Congressional Research Service). These devastating economic developments were felt across the globe. Some jobless pet owners had little choice but to give up their companions who they could no longer afford to care for. In the United States, many of those pets were costly exotic animals, but worldwide cats and dogs felt the consequences of unemployment as well. This page includes stories of exotic animal surrender, for surrender of cats and dogs see the Covid's Effects on Pets page.
Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole. - Roger Caras
I think having an animal in your life makes you a better human. - Rachel Ray
Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened. - Anatole France
Exotic Pets Increase in Popularity
Dogs, cats, and other furry critters were not the only ones adopted during the pandemic. Birds, reptiles, fish, and invertebrates flew, crawled, slithered, and swam their way into our homes and hearts.
Exotic Pets Readily Available for Adoption
During the pandemic, many exotic pets were surrendered for adoption. Families facing health and/or financial crises were forced to surrender their pets. Exotic pets require specialty foods and healthcare which are often expensive. Birds, particularly the large parrot species, are often very loud. They don't really care if you are in a Zoom meeting with the CEO or trying to take a test for school. Luckily, many of these animals did find new homes, eager to have them.
Looking for more Pet adoption stories? Check these out...