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Pet adoptions continue to surge during pandemic

Shelters running out of animals due to high demand
shelter dogs
Posted at 9:41 PM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-29 23:40:38-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The number of people looking to adopt pets during the pandemic continues to increase, and as a result, some shelters are running out of animals.

As the Coronavirus pandemic has kept more people at home, it has increased the demand for adoptable animals. Many prospective pet parents say a furry family member can provide loyal companionship during a time of isolation.

"One in three people have adopted a pet," said Laura Chavarria, Executive Director at Nashville Humane Association. "We’re taking the animals as quickly as possible, but they are going home even quicker."

Chavarria said NHA is in new territory. She said on one hand, more animals are coming into the facility as area shelters shut down due to COVID-19, or people are forced to surrender their animals due to financial reasons, but the dogs and cats aren't staying long.

"We’re trying to keep up with demand," Chavarria said. "If people want to adopt a companion, we want to make that happen."

NHA currently has 60 dogs and 30 cats available for adoption, which is fewer than normal.

Adoptions are done by appointment to encourage social distancing, and NHA is fully booked at least a week out.

"One Saturday we had to call everyone with an appointment and say we ran out of animals," Chavarria said.

Chavarria said she encouraged people interested in adopting an animal to do their research ahead of time, to determine what particular breed is the best fit. She also recommended reaching out to several shelters and be ready to act quickly if you see an animal that matches your wish list.

"If we don't have what you're looking for, we can refer you to one of our partners," Chavarria said.

Jessica Vaught has been looking for a cat for around 6 months. She said when she would inquire about specific cats at shelters, they were always adopted. However, on Friday she found the perfect match at NHA, an 8-week-old kitten named Grizabella.

"Don’t give up," said Vaught. "Continue to look and eventually you will find one you love."

For more information on adopting an animal at NHA visit their website here.