SPCA Sees Jump In Adoptions During Pandemic, Drop In Animals Being Returned

A large number of pets have been able to find their forever home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s according to Selena MacIsaac, Executive Director of the Fort McMurray SPCA, who tells Mix News the last 12 months have been especially great for their cats.

The number of cats adopted in 2020 was 31 per cent higher than in 2019.

“People working from home and are at home are thinking now might be a great time to add a new family member and cats tend to be a little bit more of an independent pet,” said MacIsaac.

As for dogs, the SPCA saw about the same level of adoptions from previous years.

MacIsaac said the biggest change was the amount of time they stayed at the shelter. In 2020, their cats and dogs averaged about a 24-day stay before finding their home, while the average was around 30 days in 2019.

“The majority of our younger animals are in and out of the shelter in less than two weeks.”

When the pandemic started, the SPCA knew they would probably see a rise in adoptions but also the number of animals being returned.

This hasn’t been the case as they’ve seen a drop of around five per cent in pets coming back to the shelter.

“We wanted to make sure we were always relaying that this is a long-term commitment, looking at anywhere from a 10 to 20-year commitment when you’re taking on an animal depending on the age of the animal,” added MacIsaac.

Those looking to adopt are being asked to be patient as the SPCA continues to limit the number of people in their shelters as part of the provincial COVID-19 measures.

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