An Overview of the Current and Potential Effects of COVID-19 on U.S. Animal Shelters
Despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, animal shelters in the United States and around the world are experiencing massive increases in adoption and foster rates. Remaining open as designated essential businesses, these shelters are interviewing adopters in parking lots to maintain social distancing guidelines and watching even long-term or hard-to-adopt residents find permanent homes. The reasons behind these phenomena are varied, but appear to stem in part from the positive benefits humans feel that they receive from sharing their home with an animal. In addition, many believe that being able to spend more time at home is important when adopting a pet, and COVID-19 has allowed people this opportunity. This study examines the adoption phenomena through an anthrozoological lens, and identifies the reasons behind this increase in animal adoption as well as the potential negative effects once the COVID crisis is over. If this increase in adoption will continue as people return to work remains to be seen, and experts question whether relinquishment and abandonment rates will skyrocket as the nation faces widespread unemployment and economic insecurity.
Keywords:COVID, Animal Shelter, Companion animals
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