Day in and day out, there have been plenty of shortages due to the current pandemic. Mostly, we’ve heard about the toilet paper and hand sanitizer shortages – ones that have been immortalized in various memes. However, coming out of the New York City area is a different kind of shortage – one that we’d never imagine. And that would be a shortage of dogs. And cats as well.
Currently, Muddy Paws Rescue and Best Friends Animal Society have both reported that they’re nearly out of all their dogs and cats after there was a major rise in the number of applications within the past two weeks. We can only assume a lot of lonely people want some furry company while they social distance themselves.
Anna Lai, the marketing director at Muddy Paws, said, “For the moment we definitely don’t have any dogs left to match with foster volunteers. Which is a great problem to have.”
Given this many people either adopting or fostering pets, the company Chewy Inc. has reported high-rising shares despite the stock market being in an overall slump at the moment because of the pandemic. In fact, Chewy’s stock is up 7% this year thanks to people in quarantine. According to the company’s website, their giant spike in online orders have caused their delivery times to be pushed out to between 7-10 days.
According to a report by RBC Capital Markets, “Chewy’s in-home delivery model mitigates the public health concern of consumers shopping at brick-and-mortar retailers.”
Chewy isn’t the only one doing well, other pet companies are also seeing spikes in their performances. One animal pharmaceutical company, PetMed Express Inc., had seen a spike of more than 7%, while Freshpet Inc. shares are down 2.3% in comparison to the S&P 500 Index’s 23% overall decline.
It seems that most of the cities in the states that are hardest hit by the pandemic are experiencing a spike in their acquisitions. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals announced that their Los Angeles office saw an increase of their animals going into foster care by 70%. In fact, Best Friends has revealed that many of their shelter partners across the country are experiencing similar responses from the public.
Julie Castle, chief executive officer of Best Friends, revealed, “We’re seeing people show up in droves to foster.”
Shelters Are Concerned
While there are so few animals at the moment, there are many shelters and rescues whose volunteers and employees are worried that they will soon see a reversal. They worry that there will be a rise in animal surrenders because of people losing their jobs. Shelters are particularly worried they’ll have to take in more animals than they can house.
“We’re doing whatever we can to empty all of our shelter facilities,” said Lisa LaFontaine, who works as the chief executive officer for the Humane Rescue Alliance – a charity with adoption centers located in both the District of Columbia and New Jersey. “We don’t know what’s going to happen when the economic wave starts hitting.”
While shelters and rescues are worried, there are other people who are thrilled to be adopting a pet. Washington, D.C. based couple, Tom Drescher and Becky Nolin, just adopted a 10-year-old mixed breed named Goldie, who has a number of health issues, including cancer. The couple felt that her given age, as well as her problems, were a good reason to give her a loving home.
35-year-old Tom said, “It occurred to us it would be a good time to adopt a dog because we’d have the time and bandwidth to help it settle in. It’s been a blast for us so far — we’ve been thrilled to have her.”
Hopefully, there won’t be a spike in surrenders, nor will people experience buyer’s remorse when adopting. If you’re feeling lonely in this pandemic and want to adopt, consider fostering first.