▶️ Humane Society sees record animal adoptions, low inventory during pandemic

By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Six brown Labrador puppies were adopted at the Humane Society of Central Oregon on Wednesday.

Applications for the puppies became available Tuesday, and in a short amount of time, 31 families applied.

“The demand to adopt right now is crazy,” Karen Burns, Vice President of operations for HSCO, said.

Six families were selected through a lottery system to take home a puppy.

“There were tears of joy from many of us,” the Hunniecutt family said.

“We were so excited,” the Stone family said. “We couldn’t believe it was happening.”

It’s not a Christmas rush on dogs and cats. Shelter officials said they’ve seen this kind of demand all year.

“People really want to adopt and we think it’s amazing,” Burns said. “Not only that but animals with behavioral or medical struggles, animals that used to sit for a significant amount of time before finding homes, are getting adopted much more quickly.”

The pandemic is probably a big factor.

“We’re commonly hearing that they’re home and it’s the perfect time to adopt,” Burns said.

But HSCO hasn’t had the inventory to keep up with the demand. In 2019, HSCO took in around 3,700 animals from strays and owner surrenders.

This year, they’ve taken in around 2,400 — 1,300 fewer than last year.

“Our intake in strays has gone down quite a bit,” Burns said. “We figure that’s because people are staying home more and being more present.”

The Stone family and the Hunniecutt family were lucky to take home new family members today. All that’s left to do is name them.

“We’re talking about Juniper, Storm and Nova,” the Hunniecutt family said.

“We have no idea,” the Stone family said.

If you’re looking for a new best friend too, Burns said you should fill out an online application and be patient.

“With the demand and the inventory the way it is, if you’re patient with us, we’re going to find you a great fit,” Burns said.

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