There's Never Been A Better Time To Adopt — Here's Why

It’s a win-win for everyone!

If you’re thinking about adopting a pet, there’s never been a better time than now to bring a new friend home.

Across the country, many animal rescue organizations are dealing with overcrowding due to rising inflation and the financial challenges many people are currently facing.

This is pretty different from the height of the pandemic, when many people, feeling isolated, adopted a “pandemic pet.” According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), 23 million households (that’s almost 1 in 5 families) adopted a dog or cat during this time.

While it’s tough to find many positive things to say about living through the COVID-19 pandemic, the amount of pets who found new homes was a small bright spot.

These days, however, animal shelters are finding themselves with a new problem: Overcrowded conditions and staffing shortages overwhelm many organizations who often rely on donations and volunteers to exist in the first place.

“People went out during COVID and adopted animals, and that was fantastic,” Tanya Semchenko, president of the Oswego County SPCA, told Oswego County News. “That was great. However, there were people who adopted animals that really didn’t have an understanding of the commitment that goes into an animal, including the vet care and the time commitment.”

Shelters are hopeful that by lowering adoption fees this summer (and in some cases, waiving them altogether), they can help find new homes for the animals in their care.

Examples include New York City, where the Animal Care Center (ACC) has currently reduced adoption fees for cats over 7 months old to $20. The Pet Resource Center in Tampa, Florida, has waived adoption fees through August.

Meanwhile, the Bissell Pet Foundation is working with shelters across the country to offer free adoptions until the end of July, and for the month of August, all adoption fees are being waived by Columbia Animal Services, in Columbia, South Carolina.

And there’s good news to be found. At a recent free adoption event in Minneapolis, all animals were placed in loving homes — a trend we hope continues across the country.

To help relieve some of the burden on animal shelters, staff are also encouraging people to consider fostering a pet.

In Chicago, overpopulation is reaching “catastrophic levels,” according to the Anti-Cruelty Society, a nonprofit shelter, so rescue staff need all the help they can get.

“The biggest need right now is adoption, but fostering — or taking an animal home for a short period of time … is also beneficial,” Darlene Duggan, Anti-Cruelty’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) told Block Club Chicago.

If you have been considering pet adoption, or fostering an animal, try contacting your local animal shelter or rescue organization to see if they are lowering or waiving fees for adoption.

Your wallet will thank you, and while that’s definitely an added bonus, it’s nothing compared to the amount of love you’ll receive from your new friend.