At this time last year, our community opened their hearts and homes to foster and adopt as the joy of animal companionship helped ease the struggle of social isolation and separation. Nationally, it is estimated that one out of every five families welcomed a new dog or cat home since the start of the pandemic! We were thrilled to see so many animals join new families.
Now, as we start to return to some sort of normalcy, you may have seen stories in the news with headlines claiming that the “pandemic pets” adopted in 2020 are being returned in alarming numbers to shelters. Understandably, stories like these can be concerning.
HSBV, along with many shelters in the U.S., is not seeing an influx of the pets adopted last year being returned to our shelter. In fact, the number of animals arriving at HSBV is consistent with what we usually see, each year. Preliminary data even shows that the number of animals who are separating from their families to find new homes at HSBV – so far in 2021 – is actually less than those from the same timeframe from 2019.
Not only are we ecstatic that pets remain at home with their families – but it’s also exactly what we strive for, every day, through our mission to keep pets and people together. Through the delivery of Safety Net services, we remove barriers and obstacles that pet guardians may encounter so they can keep their pets right where they belong: with them. We continue to offer emergency pet boarding, pet food and supplies, discounted veterinary care, and training and behavior support to our community and pets through crisis situations.
It’s not surprising that the vast majority of animals who were adopted during the pandemic remain in their homes. It speaks to the relationships we share with our pets as our beloved family members. Because of your support, we’ll continue to be here when the community needs us. We’ll be here to keep pets and people together. We’ll be here for all of you.
Watch Fred and Frasier’s story to see some of the ways your support is helping keep people and pets together, despite hardship.