The Arizona Republic: Phoenix Rescue Animals Find Homes During COVID-19

News Highlights:

  • Animal welfare organizations across the Valley are working hard to find loving homes for homeless pets during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • AHS’ spokesperson Bretta Nelson states that many working in animal welfare expected a decrease in adoptions when the pandemic hit, but thankfully, people desire to adopt now more than ever.
  • From January through June, the average length of stay for an adoptable dog at AHS decreased from 12 to eight days; for cats, the decrease was from nine to eight days.

The Arizona Republic

‘We need our pets now more than ever’: Phoenix rescue animals find homes during COVID-19

Randi Chan adopted Sake, a 1-year-old Shibu Inu mix, on July 1 from the Arizona Humane Society.

In early March, animal welfare organizations in metro Phoenix were concerned that the new coronavirus pandemic would discourage people from adopting pets.

“I thought people would be scared to adopt,” Bretta Nelson, public relations manager for Arizona Humane Society, said.

Shelter staff feared overcrowding as adoption numbers began to dip, Maricopa County Animal Care and Control Director Mary Martin told The Republic in an article published March 18.

Fewer pets were adopted in the past three months compared to the same period last year.

Maricopa County Animal Care and Control reached maximum capacity with at least 700 animals in its care, according to a March 17 press release from U.S. Reps. Greg Stanton and David Schweikert and Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego.

The nonprofit, no-kill Buckeye Animal Rescue & Kennel reached capacity in June and temporarily stopped taking in animals.

But the number of people who are looking to adopt a pet has been impressive considering the circumstances, Nelson said.

“We really didn’t see people shying away from adopting, which was amazing,” Nelson said. “We need our pets now more than ever.”

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