Wisconsin Humane Society says pet adoptions up, no increase in pandemic surrenders

NOW: Wisconsin Humane Society says pet adoptions up, no increase in pandemic surrenders

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – The Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS) is pushing back against reports of a rise in pandemic pet surrenders.

WHS says pet intake and adoptions were down during the pandemic, but returns have stayed the same.

Now, intake is increasing and adoption demand remains high.

“We are still seeing animals go home faster than ever, so we’re still doing adoptions by appointment and by waitlist,” WHS Vice President of Communications Angela Speed said.

Speed explained intake isn’t up because of an increase in pet returns, but from strays and transfers.

“There’s absolutely no data to indicate there are mass returns,” she said. “I’m not saying there aren’t some smaller groups who may have seen a few more returns, but there is no data to support any sort of widespread mass returns of animals adopted during COVID.”

Right now, a lot of the time pets are being adopted on the same day they’re made available through WHS.

“If there was a silver lining to COVID, it’s been a great thing for pets,” Speed said. “Pet owners have been home more to spend more time bonding with their animals, fewer animals have come into the shelter and adoption demand has just been sky high throughout this whole thing and that’s both locally and nationally.”

At one point during the pandemic, 75 percent of the population at WHS were in foster homes. Speed encourages anyone interested to consider fostering.

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