As people continue to stay close to home or are quarantined due to the pandemic, the desire for pet companionship has seen a significant upturn, and as a result, furry friend adoptions have soared.
Stray Haven Humane Society and SPCA, located at 194 Shepard Rd. in Waverly, N.Y. is one organization that has experienced the pet adoption surge.
Jen Woodard-Reynolds, Stray Haven’s executive director, noted that the number of animal surrenders and strays has decreased, and on the flip side, the number of overall adoptions has increased. In 2020, Woodard-Reynolds cited that Stray Haven had 100 more adoptions than the previous year.
Part of 2020’s increase is a result from paused services last spring during COVID’s initial phase. Woodard-Reynold explained that it created a challenge to treat cats; hence more kittens were born.
And then Stray Haven began taking in dogs from southern states that operate high-kill shelters in order to meet the demand of people interested in fostering or adopting dogs. Since October, and typically every two weeks, dogs are transported to the Waverly facility from southern states.
The Stray Haven staff is excited to hold their second annual adoption promotion, My Furry Valentine, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The adoption promotion will also feature tickets for raffle baskets, and visitors can take a chance to win a large screen television.
Adult dogs and cats will be $14, and $214 for puppies. All animals made available for adoption will be spayed and neutered, vaccinated, micro-chipped and de-wormed, and treated for fleas and ticks.
Woodard-Reynolds shared, “We anticipate we will have a litter of puppies in time for the event, and they will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.”
Visitors can stop by before the event, however if you are interested in a particular animal, Woodard-Reynolds said you should make the decision soon since Stray Haven cannot hold animals.
For individuals who need advice while caring for their newly adopted pet, the shelter offers a “Stray Haven Adopters” support group.
Another organization seeing a positive trend in pet adoptions is You Too Animal Rescue, located at 13289 Rte. 220 in Towanda, Pa.
You Too, a non-profit, has been dedicated to finding permanent homes for cats that are abandoned, abused, neglected, sick or unwanted since 2014.
Board President Billy Kolbeck mentioned that people who are either stuck at home or not working have been interested in pet companionship, and in turn, has seen an increase in cat adoptions.
Kolbeck shared, “In January, we have seen 16 adoptions so far,” and he anticipated a few more before the end of the month.
Once life goes back to a more normal routine, however, Kolbeck is concerned about the adopted animals, and doesn’t want to see an uptick in surrenders or strays. It’s his hope that once people adopt their pets, they can commit to the responsibility of taking care of their new family member.
You Too Animal Rescue features a large, open environment so cats can feel at home while they await adoption, and allows cats to roam freely from about 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each day. Several volunteers keep the shelter thriving.
Kolbeck also thanks Bradford County Humane Society and Stray Haven for their help in working together toward a common goal.
You cannot help but chuckle over some of the creative cat names at You Too. For example, a trio of tiger cats was recently named Alan, Charlie and Berta, and after characters from the hit television show, “Two and a Half Men.”
A fundraiser for both You Too Animal Rescue and Kali’s Mission, a spay and neuter group out of Towanda, Pa. whose mission is to reduce the number of cats living on the streets homeless, is planned for March 8 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Beeman’s Restaurant, located at 1356 Elmira St. in Sayre, Pa. Tickets are $10 each, and the deadline to purchase is March 1. Tickets include a choice of chicken and biscuit dinner with mashed potatoes and vegetable or a ziti with meat sauce meal.
For more information about Stray Haven, find them on Facebook, visit their website at http://strayhavenspca.org/, or call them at (607) 565-2859.
For more information about You Too Animal Rescue, find them on Facebook or Instagram. To purchase tickets for the March 8 dinner, call Billy Kolbeck at (570) 721-0605 or Gary Parks at (570) 250-1890.