- Dr. Steven Hansen, President and CEO of the Arizona Humane Society talked to North Central News about how the pandemic has increased adoption and foster rates at AHS.
- Last year, from March 1 to Dec. 31, there were 9,252 animals adopted from the Arizona Humane Society.
- The amount of time it took for an animal to get placed in a foster hero home dropped from an average of six days in 2019 to an average of three days in 2020.
- In response to the pandemic, the Arizona Humane Society has added curbside adoption appointments, where future pet owners can fill out paperwork at home, talk to an adoption matchmaker about available animals on the phone and then pick up their new pet and complete payments from their vehicles.
- AHS allows pet owners to return pets that were adopted from them, however, the number of adopted animals who have been returned since the pandemic started also has decreased!
Pandemic sparks pet adoptions, fostering
The COVID-19 pandemic is prompting people to adopt and foster furry friends quicker than usual as they crave companionship and have more time to bond with pets.
Animal welfare advocates are thrilled that community members are eager to care for dogs, cats and other animals but also advise folks to carefully consider the commitment, cost and logistics of becoming a pet owner before obtaining one.
The time it took for an animal to get placed with a foster parent from the Arizona Humane Society dropped from an average of six days between March 1 and Dec. 31 of 2019 to an average of three days between March 1 and Dec. 31 of 2020. There was a slight decrease in the average number of days that animals stayed at the organization before being adopted into “fur-ever” homes, from an average of seven days between March 1 and Dec. 31 of 2019 to an average of six days during that same time period last year.
“They’re moving out very quickly,” said Dr. Steven Hansen, president and CEO of the Arizona Humane Society. “A significant amount of research shows pets actually improve our lives. They keep our blood pressure down, keep our stress hormones down. I do think that companion animals are one bright spot of the pandemic and the shelter community has been really innovative to make sure the Valley’s most vulnerable animals have care.”
From March 1 to Dec. 31 of last year, there were 9,252 animals, including dogs, cats and other critters, adopted from the Arizona Humane Society. That is down from 12,092 from March 1 to Dec. 31 of 2019. The Arizona Humane Society streamlined from offering four animal adoption locations to one – its Nina Mason Pulliam Campus for Compassion at 1521 W. Dobbins Road when the pandemic hit for safety reasons. It also added a virtual matchmaking process, where people can view available pets for adoption on its website and talk to a staff member on the phone before adopting one.