Of all the shortages the coronavirus pandemic has caused -- the fear of not having enough toilet paper, hand sanitizer and the bottled water -- the one you've probably not thought of is a shortage on cat and dog adoptions.
Not 'Sheltering in Place' at Shelters
The rescue operations like Muddy Paws Rescue and Best Friends Animal Society are reporting they no longer have cats or dogs for adoption.
This is after receiving a major uptick of 10-fold in adoption applications in the neighborhood, which has been submitted in the last two weeks.
Since humans are being told to 'shelter in place' at home out of anxiety or boredom [or both], New Yorkers think that four-legged friends can help them ease the pain.
“For the moment we definitely don’t have any dogs left to match” with foster volunteers, said Anna Lai, the marketing director at Muddy Paws. “Which is a great problem to have.”
Chewey Inc. surging
In a volatile marketplace where stocks are alternating between plummeting and surging, there's one retailer acting like a consistent 'bull.
Chewy sells 'all-things-pets' on its Chewy.com website including food, toys, treats, vitamins and supplements.' And as a result, it's CHWY has almost doubled over the last month. The company reported earnings ending the first week in April, at a surprising 12% rise.
According to Statista, pet food is the hottest segment, with almost $37 billion in food sold in 2019. Vet care was the next segment, with over $29 billion in 2019. Moreover, the pandemic has led nervous buyers to order online versus store purchases at pets stores, such as Petco and PetSmart.
“Chewy’s in-home delivery model mitigates the public health concern of consumers shopping at brick-and-mortar retailers,” RBC Capital Markets said in a report.
The run on pet adoptions appears to extend beyond New York, at least in disease hotspots. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said its Los Angeles office saw a 70% increase in animals going into foster care. And Best Friends said many of the shelters it partners with across the U.S. report the same phenomenon.
While the pickings are slim now, rescue organizations are concerned they’ll soon be up against the opposite problem -- a rise in surrendered pets as many Americans lose their jobs. Some feel that shelters may be asked to take in more animals than they have room for.
Other parts of the country are actually trying to empty their shelters during the pandemic. Oakland Animal Services in California will be participating in an Empty the Shelters event on Saturday, May 4, 2020.
That weekend, all animal shelters in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties will also participate in the BISSELL Pet Foundation’s Clear the Shelters. On Saturday, May 4, 2019, all adoption fees for cats, kittens, dogs and puppies will be a flat $25 in hopes of matching all pets with new forever homes.
What are your thoughts on this issue, readers? Are you in the market for a dog or a cat? And if not, do you see folks turning in their cats and dogs, because they can't afford them any longer, due lack of paychecks and/or retirement funds? Let us hear your thoughts in the COMMENTS below.
Primary Source: Bloomberg