Pet adoptions have dropped off since public health orders closed schools, businesses and events while trying to slow the community spread of the coronavirus. It’s caused a drastic drop in the number of pet adoptions from Nuzzles & Co and an increase in pet surrenders around the state.
While parents and kids are sequestered at home, Nuzzles &Co Executive Director Jaimie Usrey suggests it could be the perfect time to adopt a pet. While they’ve closed the adoption center at the Outlet Mall, they are running adoptions out of the Rescue Ranch in Peoa.
“Come adopt or foster but we need you to call first to make an appointment. We are limiting the people in our lobby for social distancing so if you just give us a call, we’ll fill you in with an appointment. We can also do virtual FaceTime or Skype introductions of animals to you and then see if you’re truly interested before you come down.”
Usrey says will always take Nuzzles adoptions back, but they’re not set up as a drop off facility. They’re anticipating an increase in pet drop-offs and shelter surrenders due to the COVID outbreak.
“We are hearing about it from our community partners and that’s one of the things we pride ourselves on at Nuzzles & Co is that we rescue animals from shelters all over the state. These are animal control facilities and some private shelters but that for whatever reason at times maybe are running out of space or resources and our job is to come in there and take those animals and then care for them.”
She says last weekend they did three adoptions whereas a normal weekend they would adopt out as many as15 animals. However, fostering has increased, and this allows them to absorb animals from other shelters around the state.
“And one of the big concerns of course is to get these animals out into homes while adoptions are down so that they remain healthy emotionally and behaviorally happy. And of course, living in a kennel for a long period of time is not a good life. And this community has really stepped up and fostered dozens of animals right now.”
Deann Shepard with the Utah Humane Society says they’re preparing for an onslaught of pet surrenders and a decrease in income. They’re providing support services to encourage people to wait to surrender their pet for a few weeks while things settle down. She says there is no evidence COVID can be contracted from animals but they’re limiting the number of people and using enhanced cleaning practices.
“But we have seen a decline in our clinic use where people have walk in vaccinations or spay/neuter surgeries and that’s one of the primary sources of income for us as a private local nonprofit. So, we’re preparing for a decrease in clinic services and adoptions unfortunately and perhaps an increase in pet surrenders.”
The Ranch will be open seven days a week from noon to 5 P.M. for appointments only.
Go to nuzzlesandco.org for more information or call the rescue ranch at 435-608-1424
Read the original story at KPCW.org