Local animal shelters see uptick in adoptions
One silver living to the COVID-19 pandemic is an increase in animal adoptions in Garfield County.
Colorado Animal Rescue Executive Director Wes Boyd said the shelter has adopted out an average of 51 pets per month since January.
In the last six months of 2020, the shelter adopted out 61 pets on average per month.
“I think that during 2020 and for most of the pandemic, we felt fortunate. It felt like more people were adopting, and there was just a higher interest in having pets,” Boyd said. “We did have an overall feeling that more people were adopting during 2020 due to available time, working from home, kids at home, etc.”
Colorado Animal Rescue has seen a 5% increase in surrendered pets this year.
The biggest reason given for surrendering a pet was behavior, followed by availability of pet-friendly housing, Boyd said.
“The largest reason for owners to surrender is behavior. Sometimes that does include things like too much energy,” Boyd said. “Specifically citing not enough time was a little less than 10% percent of the animals. Housing availability being a reason for surrender represents about 25% of the pets.”
Bailey, a Lab hound mix, was recently surrendered to the shelter. Her previous owners specifically cited not having enough time for the senior dog as a reason for surrendering her to Colorado Animal Rescue.
“Bailey has a great temperament with kids and most other dogs,” Boyd said. “But she does love to chase cats.”
Boyd said pet owners who are facing issues due to going back to work could use dog walkers, dog day cares or crate training to help their pet use pent-up energy during the day.
Overall, Boyd said that pets seem to have benefited from the pandemic.
Rifle Animal Shelter Executive Director Heather Grant said the shelter has adopted out 387 animals so far this year, which is on pace with last year’s adopted animal total of 368 year-to-date.
“We’ve had surrenders. A few of them have been moving, for normal reasons,” Grant said. “We have not had any returned due to going back to work because of COVID.”
Grant said the shelter is doing well with adoptions, and she doesn’t anticipate a change in adoption rates.
“I think our community has been really supportive, and our hardest difficulty was our fundraisers couldn’t happen. Just trying to keep up funding for operations through this whole pandemic has been difficult,” Grant said. “We had to alter fundraising events and make them different. Some of them we had to plan at the last minute, some were canceled.”
Grant said the last year has been a year of change.
“But I think we’ve been able to pivot and adapt,” she said.
“We found new ways to find people to adopt. It was a year of learning.”
Reporter Shannon Marvel can be reached at 605-350-8355 or email@example.com.
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