Shelters and animal organizations report an increase in adoption requests

Shelters and animal organizations report a surge in adoptions

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As the pandemic continues, animal shelters in the Richmond area are reporting a rise in adoptions.

The Richmond Animal League and Richmond Animal Care and Control both say they have had overwhelming interest from people who are looking to add to their family.

“Since the beginning of COVID-19, we are still seeing an overwhelming response to adopting during this time. It’s been really fantastic. Our process has changed a bit, so we are no longer able to invite people into our shelter to visit and view pets. We have all of our pets listed on our website,” explained Kaicee Robertson with Richmond Animal League.

When RAL first closed their adoption center to reimagine how adoption would work, they received 400 foster applications.

Robertson says meeting potential new pets now happens either through Zoom or prescheduled one-on-one appointments.

“We’ve had really wonderful success with our rehome option,” explained Robertson. “If you go on our website, you will not only see pets up for adoption through Richmond Animal League, you will see pets up for adoption in peoples homes - they are with their family and then they go into a new home.”

Robertson says people choose to rehome for many reasons, and right now, potential adopters are able to Zoom with families in order to make a final decision.

“We’ve had less people asking about surrendering their pet and more people adopting than ever,” explained Christie Chipps-Peters with Richmond Animal Care and Control.

She says fewer animals are coming into the shelter, as it seems more people are home for many reasons.

“The number of animals that are coming to us are getting adopted so quickly - our shelter capacity is remaining at 80 percent less capacity than it was last year,” said Chipps-Peters.

Chipps-Peters says RACC has gotten calls from people who have been placed on waitlists at other shelters or with other animal rescue organizations, showing just how high the demand is for adopting rescue animals.

“This is the perfect time to acclimate a pet to [a family’s] home, so we are seeing a huge amount of people that want to adopt and an animal population that is having a hard time keeping up,” she said. “Our goal is not to keep them here, we just want to be like a train station of their life. They just hang out for a little while and go on to something better.”

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