Preprint / Version 1

An Overview of the Current and Potential Effects of COVID-19 on U.S. Animal Shelters

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.21467/preprints.157

Abstract

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

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Why We're Turning to New Pets in This Pandemic - CNN Video. CNN. Cable News Network, 10 Apr. 2020. https://edition.cnn.com/videos/us/2020/04/08/covid-pandemic-pet-adoption-foster-orig-jg.cnn/video/playlists/covid-19-coronavirus-how-to-service/ Last accessed April 28, 2020

Oakes, C. The Call Has Been Answered: Animal Shelters across the U.S. Are Emptying amid Coronavirus Pandemic. NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 19 Apr. 2020, www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/call-has-been-answered-animal-shelters-across-u-s-are-n1186351 Last accessed April 28, 2020

Cases in U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 26 Apr. 2020, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html Last accessed April 28, 2020

ASPCA. Pet Statistics. www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics Last accessed April 28, 2020

World Health Organization, 2020. WHO Timeline-COVID-19 Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/08-04-2020-who-timeline---covid-19 Last accessed April 27, 2020

Mervosh, S.; Lu, D. and Swales, V., 2020. See Which States and Cities Have Told Residents to Stay at Home. The New York Times Online. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-stay-at-home-order.html Last accessed April 28, 2020

Miller, G. E. The U.S. Is the Most Overworked Nation in the World. 20somethingfinance.Com, 13 Jan. 2020, 20somethingfinance.com/american-hours-worked-productivity-vacation/. Last accessed April 28, 2020

Rubin, G.J. & Wessely, S. The psychological effects of quarantining a city. The BMJ. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m313 Last accessed April 28, 2020

Barbisch, D., Koeing, K., & Shih, F. (2015). Is There a Case for Quarantine? Perspectives from SARS to Ebola. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness,9(5), 547-553. Doi: 10.1017/dmp.2015.38

Ellis, E.G. (2020) Thanks to Sheltering in Place, Animal Shelters Are Empty. Wired Online. Available at:https://www.wired.com/story/coronavirus-pet-adoption-boom/ Last accessed April 28, 2020

Salman, M.D., New, Jr., J.G., Scarlett, J.M., Kass, P.H., Ruch-Gallie, R. & Hetts, S. (1998) Human and Animal Factors Related to Relinquishment of Dogs and Cats in 12 Selected Animal Shelters in the United States, Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 1:3, 207-226, DOI: 10.1207/s15327604jaws0103_2

Humane Society of the United States (2020). About Pets for Life. https://www.animalsheltering.org/programs/pets-for-life Last accessed April 27, 2020

Collins, L. (2020) Animal shelters are left EMPTY across the U.S. as thousands turn to fostering and adopting rescue dogs and cats during nation-wide lockdowns. Daily Mail Online. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8218539/Animal-shelters-left-thousands-families-turn-fostering-pets.htmlels Last accessed April 28, 2020

Whitney Boylston (Lake County Office of Animal Services, Director) in discussion with author, April 26, 2020.

Hiby, E.F., Rooney, N.J., Bradshaw, J.W.S. Behavioural and physiological responses of dogs entering re-homing kennels, Physiology & Behavior, Volume 89, Issue 3, 2006, Pages 385-391, ISSN 0031-9384, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2006.07.012

Pedersen, J. M. Florida County's Empty Kennel Video Sign of the Times for Animal Shelters amid Coronavirus Pandemic. Orlandosentinel.com, Orlando Sentinel, 16 Apr. 2020, www.orlandosentinel.com/coronavirus/os-ne-coronavirus-animal-shelters-less-animals-20200416-dyu7uqe4bzc6ti5poiljrmvfaq-story.html Last accessed April 28, 2020

Humane Society of the United States (2020). COVID-19 shelter kit. https://www.animalsheltering.org/COVID19 Last accessed April 27, 2020

Kerman, N., Gran-Ruaz, S. & Lem, M. (2019) Pet ownership and homelessness: a scoping review, Journal of Social Distress and Homelessness, 28:2, 106-114, doi: 10.1080/10530789.2019.1650325

Herrald, M.M., et al. “Pet Ownership Predicts Adherence to Cardiovascular Rehabilitation1.” Journal of Applied Social Psychology, vol. 32, no. 6, 31 July 2006, pp. 1107–1123., doi:10.1111/j.1559-1816.2002.tb01428.x.

National Animal Care & Control Association (NACA) (2020). General Statement on Animal Control Functions During COVID-19 Pandemic. https://www.nacanet.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/1.General-Statement-on-Animal-Control-Functions-During-the-COVID-19-Pandemic.r.pdf Last accessed April 28, 2020

COVID-19 Impact Data Summary (2020). Shelter Animals Count National Database. https://www.shelteranimalscount.org/COVID-19

Whitten, S. Animal Rescues Are Going to Need More Help than Ever Once Coronavirus Restrictions Are Lifted. CNBC, 11 Apr. 2020, www.cnbc.com/2020/04/11/coronavirus-increased-pet-adoptions-now-rescuers-face-new-challenges.html Last accessed April 28, 2020

WITN. Onslow County Animal Services Seeing Increase in Pet Adoptions amid Coronavirus Pandemic. WITN, 23 Apr. 2020, www.witn.com/content/news/Onslow-County-Animal-Services-seeing-increase-in-pet-adoptions-amid-Coronavirus-pandemic-569908141.html Last accessed April 28, 2020

“Pet Care.” ASPCA, 2020, www.aspca.org/pet-care Last accessed April 27, 2020

Weng, H.Y., &Hart, L.A. “Impact of the Economic Recession on Companion Animal Relinquishment, Adoption, and Euthanasia: A Chicago Animal Shelter's Experience.” Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, vol. 15, no. 1, 2012, pp. 80–90., doi:10.1080/10888705.2012.624908.

Morris, G.D. & Steffler, J. (2011) Was pet relinquishment related to foreclosure?: A spatial research note from California during the height of foreclosure, The Social Science Journal, 48:4, 739-745, doi: 10.1016/j.soscij.2011.03.010

Fernandes, N. Economic Effects of Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID-19) on the World Economy (March 22, 2020). doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3557504

Atkeson, A. “What Will Be the Economic Impact of COVID-19 in the US? Rough Estimates of Disease Scenarios.” NBER Program: Economic Fluctuations and Growth , Mar. 2020. doi:10.3386/w26867.

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). (2007) U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook Schaumburg, IL: American Veterinary Medical Association. Available at: https://www.avma.org/sites/default/files/resources/AVMA-Pet-Demographics-Executive-Summary.pdf Last accessed April 27, 2020

National Animal Care & Control Association (2020). Statement on Releasing Unaltered Pets from Animal Shelters During the COVID-19 Pandemic. www.nacanet.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/3.Releasing-Unaltered-Pets-from-Animal-Shelters-During-the-COVID-19-Pandemic.pdf Last accessed April 28, 2020

Coren, S. (2020) Unfounded Fears That Dogs Can Spread COVID-19 Can Cause Harm. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/canine-corner/202003/unfounded-fears-dogs-can-spread-covid-19-can-cause-harm Last accessed April 28, 2020

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). SARS-CoV-2 in animals. Available at:https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/animal-health-and-welfare/covid-19/sars-cov-2-animals-including-pets Last accessed April 27, 2020

Downloads

Posted

2020-07-05

Section

Coronavirus

Categories