Puppy and kitten adoptions on the rise

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Adoptions of puppies and kittens at the Pearl River County SPCA are on the rise.
The shelter has already adopted out all of its puppies and is adopting out as many kittens in a week as it normally does in a month. Since it has been able to adopt out all of the puppies, the shelter is once again accepting owner surrenders of puppies.

“I think it’s a great time to adopt, with people home more they get to spend more time with the new pet. They have more time to train it and work with it. I think it’s the perfect time to adopt a pet. And it’s also the perfect time to foster, because you can foster a pet and work with them and socialize them and make them more adoptable,” said Maria Diamond, Pearl River County SPCA spokesperson.

For people who want a pet in their home, but know they will not have time for one when more businesses and institutions reopen, fostering an animal can be the perfect solution, said Diamond. Fosters take animals into their home and help care for them before they are adopted out, which helps keep the shelter from being overwhelmed by large animal populations. On average, fosters keep an animal for two to four weeks. People can choose what kind of animal they want to foster, from very young animals that need to be bottle-fed, to pregnant animals or large dogs.

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Bigger dogs are harder to adopt out than smaller dog breeds, so they spend more time in the shelter, said Diamond.

Even though the PRC SPCA is closed to the public, staff are completing more adoptions than normal. Some other shelters are closed entirely, said Diamond, especially in Louisiana, which may be contributing to the increase in adoptions. People can call to make an appointment to meet an animal at the shelter or they can do a pre-adoption over the phone.

Limiting the number of people who visit the shelter helps protect the shelter’s small staff from getting sick.

“We need everybody we’ve got. We can’t afford for anybody to be out sick,” said Diamond.

With pre-adoptions, people can adopt over the phone with a credit card and pick up the animal after it is spayed or neutered. The shelter keeps up-to-date photos of the animals available for adoption on its website.

In May, June and July there are more kittens than the rest of the year, said Diamond. In the past, the shelter has had as many as 200 kittens per month during kitten season, although that number has decreased with the SPCA’s spay and neuter program.

Kitten season is in full swing, but the shelter has less space than normal to house cats because pet stores that normally house some adoptable cats are not taking the animals due to the pandemic.

“It’s decreased our space and that’s why we’re not taking any owner surrenders right now, otherwise we’d be jammed full,” said Diamond.

Except for puppies, the shelter will not accept any owner surrenders until it can reopen and begin taking transfers again.

Shelter staff are not sure yet when the PRC SPCA will be able to return to normal operation, but staff are still hoping to hold the annual kitten shower. Instead of the regular festivities, it may be a drive through event, said Diamond.

For more information on adopting, fostering, volunteering or donating to the shelter contact 601-798-8000 or visit prcspca.org.