Editorial: How to fight overcrowded shelters and declining adoptions

When looking for a new animal to add to your family, you may think of the slogan “adopt, don’t buy”. This phrase couldn’t be truer now, as Orange County Animal Services has seen an increase in dog abandonments and a decline in adoptions.

This surprising trend is partly a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. People who had pets during lockdown are realizing they may not have time for their pets now that they are returning to in-person work.

It’s crucial to realize that pets aren’t just there to emotionally support their owners during difficult times – they also need to be cared for and loved as the family members they are. Cats and dogs are not disposable once life gets overwhelming.

OACS is making several efforts to reverse this trend, including a special spring adoption offer as well as reduced adoption fees. Orange County also contributes to these efforts through a pet food assistance program.

But OCAS can do little to make adoption an attractive option. Ultimately, it is up to the community to improve conditions by choosing to adopt from local shelters rather than buying from breeders, and adopting only when they can afford to care for them. an animal adequately in the long term.

Many puppies sold in pet stores or online come from puppy mills. Although legal, the majority of mills are unregulated. This means that conditions and practices are often focused on profit and not animal safety and health.

While there are reputable breeders out there, adopting from a shelter means you’re opening up a place to save another dog’s life, while reducing the activity of problematic puppy mills.

In addition, the decision to adopt must be carefully considered. Factors such as finances, training and how to properly care for the animal should all be known. Informed adoption is key.

People who no longer feel like they can afford to care for their dog should take the time and effort to find him a new family, rather than just dropping him off at the shelter. This is much better than taking up necessary space, and the animal does not have to return to shelter conditions.

Anyone looking for a new pet to add to their family should look no further than local shelters, like OCAS. Name-your-price offers should be taken advantage of, and the support of this shelter continues its mission of making animal housing socially conscious.

OCAS needs the support of the community to be able to continue rescuing the animals and giving them new homes. Adopting an animal from OCAS is an opportunity to spread love and receive it in return.

People are looking for best friends for life, even if they are no longer huddled at home in a pandemic-induced lockdown. Going back to school and in-person work doesn’t mean it’s not possible to have animals, but it does mean it requires more work than in previous years.

This slow transition to normality should encourage people to adopt dogs rather than handing them over to the shelter. It is now more acceptable to take your dog on more social and fun adventures, instead of being isolated in our homes.


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Jennifer R. Strohm