Adoptions at Peoria-area shelters are remained high, with no substantial increase in pet returns.
Scooby, a one-year-old pit bull mix looks out from his enclosure in the adoption kennel at the Peoria County Animal Protection Services shelter on Perry Avenue in Peoria. MATT DAYHOFF/JOURNAL STAR
Many Americans sought solace in new four-legged companions last year, when the breakout of COVID-19 resulted in stay-at-home orders and physical separation procedures.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, 23 million U.S. families have adopted pets, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. This comprises a large number of people in central Illinois.
“Adoptions everywhere were at an all time high, resulting in fewer animal controls having animals to transfer out and fewer people surrendering their pets,”Holly Crotty, director of the Pekin-based Tazewell Animal Protective Society, stated.
Adoptions from the Peoria shelter have continued to climb, according to Becky Spencer, director of Peoria County Animal Protection Services. PCAPS will have found new homes for 730 animals by 2020. This year's total had risen to 926 by late last week.
As pandemic restrictions lifted, USA TODAY reported in May that a trend of adopted animals being returned to shelters had emerged. Local animal shelters such as TAPS and PCAPS, on the other hand, have not seen an increase in animal surrenders in the last year.
Spencer has noted a general trend of new pet owners becoming more devoted to their companion animals in interactions with colleagues at various animal shelters around the United States, she said.
“They found their animals a comfort and wanted to hold onto them more tightly,” Spencer added. “That's something that we saw nationally.”
TAPS had been focused on appropriate adoptions during the epidemic, according to Crotty, because the team had anticipated more pets being relinquished when influenza restrictions lifted. However, she has noted an increase in the number of animals entering the shelter system in recent weeks.
Last week, TAPS got 60 pets. While the pandemic hasn't resulted in an increase in pets being returned to TAPS, Crotty said that some pets are always returned to shelters after being adopted. According to her, some owners are being returned because they did not properly adopt their new pets, did not account for returning to regular work hours, or did not know how to train or socialize them.