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People Are Still Busy Adopting Pets During The Pandemic In Broward County

Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Center
Caitie Switalski
If adopting a pandemic pet feels like too much of a commitment, there's always fostering.

The rate of people adopting pets remained consistent from March 2019 to September 2019 compared to the same time in 2020, according to Broward County Animal Care.

Broward County Animal Care has been staying busy while it's adapted its pet adoption process to try to keep people safe during the pandemic.

The rate of people adopting pets in Broward County has remained steady since the coronavirus pandemic started — compared to this time last year.

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"Our rate for adopting pets remained consistent from March 2019 to September 2019 to the same time in 2020," said Lisa Mendheim, a program coordinator at Broward County Animal Care.

While the number of adoptions this year is lower than this time last year Mendheim explained, "The number of pets we received was way down as well, so the rate of pets saved remains consistent — 84 percent for this year versus 83 percent last year. That’s good news!"

People first look at available pets up for adoption online and fill out an application for one they think they like. Then they get an appointment to come in for some one-on-one time with the animal.

"People are really thinking it through," Mendheim said. "Since we make appointments for them to come in, they're asking a lot of questions and being able to talk to our team and learn more about the pet and make sure it's a good fit for them."

That's exactly how Anne Butler, in Tamarac, found a six-year-old rescue named Jake.

"They call him a 'Cho-Yorkie,'" Butler said. "He's a Chihuahua and Yorkie mixture. He's absolutely precious."

Jake, 6, is Butler's "Cho-Yorkie."
Courtesy of Broward County Animal Care and Anne Butler
Jake, 6, is Butler's "Cho-Yorkie."

After her last dog died in July, Butler said she knew she wanted a new furry companion to keep her company while staying home more during the pandemic.

"I used to go to water aerobics five days a week. And then after, meet with the girls and we'd all just go out for coffee or something. And that's all been shut down," Butler said. "So it's hard for all my friends, you know. But having the dog has just been great. They're a lot of fun."

At 78, from the Boston area, Butler now lives by herself. When she brought Jake home she found out he's cuddly, spunky — a great pandemic companion to make physical isolation from other people, well, less lonely.

"He's good for me," she said. "We take a lot of walks during the daytime, which is wonderful because when I have to go outside and walk around the block I see my neighbors doing the exact same thing so I'm out of the house. If I didn't have him, I'd be in the house."

Pet adoptions during the pandemic have been popular in other parts of South Florida, too. Earlier this spring — and earlier on in the pandemic — Palm Beach County saw a record-breaking number of pet adoptions.

However, if adopting a pandemic pet sounds like too much of a commitment, there's always fostering programs.

Caitie Muñoz, formerly Switalski, leads the WLRN Newsroom as Director of Daily News & Original Live Programming. Previously she reported on news and stories concerning quality of life in Broward County and its municipalities for WLRN News.
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