As Dogs Fill San Francisco Shelters, Animal Care Waives Adoption Fees
SAN FRANCISCO – Today is a good day to adopt a dog.
So say officials at San Francisco Animal Care and Control and the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, both of which have temporarily waived adoption fees to encourage more adoptions.
Pandemic-related delays in neutering and neutering surgeries have filled shelters in the city — as well as elsewhere in the Bay Area and across the country, local officials said — with homeless dogs.
The problem is compounded by the decline in the number of people adopting dogs, especially large canine breeds, as life slowly returns to normal, officials said.
“When you adopt, you’re not only saving an animal’s life, you’re also opening up space in our shelter so we can save another animal,” said San Francisco SPCA manager Dr. Jennifer Scarlett. Francis. “If you’re thinking of adopting, now is the perfect time. Our shelter is full and we have a wide variety of dogs, especially larger dogs.”
“The pandemic has delayed a lot of our ability to spay and neuter dogs and animals, in general, so there are a lot more animals that are now homeless and on the streets,” said Lisa Feder, the Head of Rescue and Welfare at the SPCA. “I think, mainly, the reason we’re so full is just because people aren’t coming in to adopt right now. We’re not seeing as many people in shelters.”
As of Tuesday, about 40 adoptable dogs were living at the SF SPCA shelter. The typical number is 20, according to Feder.
Scarlett and Virginia Donohue, Executive Director of Animal Care, hope that waiving adoption fees will allow many of our dogs to find loving new homes.
“The number of dogs in our care — especially the larger ones — has had a significant impact on our operations,” Donohue said. “We’re clogged up, and we’re working with 100 different organizations, and they’re also clogged up. The whole pipeline is in trouble. We don’t see any surrenders like we don’t have a lot of people coming in and saying I can’ I don’t take care of my dog anymore, here he is.We have a lot of stray dogs in the street.
Over the weekend, there were about 75 dogs at SF Animal Care & Control. The shelter generally likes to keep that number under 50, according to Donohue.
The SPCA is waiving adoption fees for all adult dogs 5 months and older as part of its Summer of Lovin’ adoption promotion.
Animal Care is waiving adoption fees for all dogs through June 30.
“We’re clogged up and we’re working with 100 different organizations, and they’re clogged up as well. The whole pipeline is in trouble,” said Virginia Donohue, executive director of San Francisco Animal Care & Control. “We don’t see any surrenders as we don’t have a lot of people coming in and saying I can’t take care of my dog anymore, that’s it. We have a lot of stray dogs on the street.”