With the pandemic forcing many to work from home over the past year, owning a furry companion has been on the rise. Animal rescues around Lethbridge say pets are continuing to be adopted by new owners and a local pet store is welcoming the increase.
During the course of the pandemic, animal adoptions have been on the rise and with a new pet comes new accessories and toys. The Bone and Biscuit in Lethbridge has been enjoying the surge in new pets over the last year.
“Definitely when the pandemic first hit, there was a huge surge in how many puppies were being adopted,” says owner Megan Stewart. “It was quite fun to see all the new parents coming in and needing all the accessories, toys, leashes, collars and pee pads, so it’s a lot of fun to see that and it’s even more fun when the puppies get to come in and visit.”
Stewart says now that we’re over a year into the pandemic, they are still continuing to see the same number of customers as they were this time last year.
“We’re holding pretty steady, especially coming into summer, we’re starting to see more people needing new accessories for their dogs, whether it’s a new puppy that’s growing up through summer or an older dog that people want to take on more adventures.”
However, with the added increase of new furry friends, keeping supplies in stock hasn’t been the easiest.
“We have seen a shortage of stock, it hasn’t been too bad, such as a brand here or there, a certain canned food line that has been hard to bring in. Overall it hasn’t been too bad, but we’ve noticed shortages or it takes a lot longer to get in,” added Stewart.
Lethbridge Animal Services says animal adoptions have continued to hold strong, with a new way of showing animals to the public being developed. Such as adding more details, biographies and photos to their website to help limit the number of people coming in-person to see an animal.
“Moving forward as these public health orders are relaxed, we may keep some of those processes that we’ve started for adoptions because we have found it has helped get the animals into a suitable home,” says Skylar Plourde, Animal Control Enforcement Officer.
Plourde adds the return of adopted pets and general surrenders has not changed over the last year. Lethbridge Animal Services wants to remind people to do their research when looking to adopt a pet, and to prepare for the time and financial commitment it takes.