Since the start of the pandemic, animal shelters saw a surge in pet adoptions.
Now, the Valley Humane Society in the East Bay is raising awareness about a decline in adoption rates as many dogs and cats are staying longer waiting for a good home.
“We couldn’t keep them in stock so to speak,” said Volunteer Diane Heinitz.
Melane Sadek, president of Valley Humane Society told NBC Bay Area Saturday that she has watched things change dramatically.
“We know this mass return of adopted animals during the pandemic is in fact not happening,” she said.
That’s welcome news, but Sadek added that recently there has been a shift. They’re running out of adopters for cats and dogs.
“Our interest in having puppies and young animals hasn’t changed. It’s just that maybe we were too good and telling people that rescues and shelters didn’t have them and so people went to the internet. The internet is a problem because people are buying from puppy mills,” Sadek said.
Now Sadek said that animals are waiting longer for a home.
“We’re actually seeing fewer animals entering our state shelters which is amazing. We want that but when we do enter dogs are staying 63 percent longer than normal,” she said. “At Valley Human Society, our average length of stay for a dog before the pandemic was anywhere from 6 to 9 days and now, we are seeing even puppies stay 20 to 60 days.”
There is concern as animals wait.
“If our rooms are full then, we can't go to the public shelter and pull more of those animals out," she said.
Sadek added that there are ways to support.
"We need our community to adopt. Whether it's adopt an animal or adopt a shelter or rescue and promote their animals," she said.