Pet adoptions steady, uptick in foster applications at local animal shelters

DORAL, FLA. (WSVN) - Social distancing can be lonely for those who live alone, but animal shelters across South Florida are reporting renewed interest from the community in adopting and fostering pets.

As stay-at-home orders remain in effect for cities across the country, people are looking for ways to help pass the time, and they’re doing it by taking in a cat or dog that needs a forever home.

“We’ve had people that are home, and they have a lot of time on their hands,” said Alex Munoz with Miami-Dade Animal Services, “but you can take that chance now and that opportunity now to spend some time with a pet.”

Even though shelters are not operating as they normally would because of the coronavirus pandemic, that’s not keeping potential pet parents from reaching out.

“The response from the community has been amazing,” said Munoz.

Miami-Dade Animal Services’ Adoption Center is operating with a reduced staff, but they’re still seeing steady business, with both cat and dog adoptions and more pet foster applications than they’ve seen in a long time.

“Our fosters have doubled, have well over doubled. There were a couple weeks that we did 90 fosters, 60 fosters. Usually we do 10, 20 around there,” said Munoz.

The same is true over at the Humane Society of Greater Miami.

“Since Saturday, we received over a hundred, probably, so it’s been a major increase for us,” said Jossie Aguirre with the Humane Society of Greater Miami.

Aguirre said being stuck at home is not only the perfect time for residents to foster an animal; it’s good timing for them as well.

“It’s a huge time for us. We get this influx of babies without moms. Sometimes we get pregnant moms or nursing moms, and we can place them as well,” she said.

Meanwhile, shelters in Broward County are all seeing a big jump in the number of people interested in adopting or fostering.

Shelters across South Florida are making it easier to start the process without even having to leave home.

We’ve basically taken everything — step one of everything is online, so if you want to foster, you fill out the application online. If you want to adopt, you fill out the application online,” said Aguirre.

The pandemic may have led to empty shelves in grocery stores, but it’s also making for some empty kennels at animal shelters.

“People have just been coming in, and the response has been amazing,” said Munoz. “Our numbers are as low as I can recall.”

Those who are unable to adopt or foster a pet can still donate to local animal shelters or rescue facilities.

Copyright 2020 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.