Pet adoptions spike during pandemic

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RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. — People are turning to pets to help with isolation and stress during the pandemic.

“The adoption numbers have been through the roof,” said Jessica Gercke, the public relations director at Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe.

Things have gotten so busy that pet adoptions are now by appointment only.

Gercke said last year in April the animal center had around 200 adoptions. Last month they had 340.

“We’re also finding they’re incredibly successful adoptions, because families are home right now — time for the family to train and be a part of that animal’s life,” said Gercke.

At Helen Woodward Animal Center, the limited appointments are booked-up, with some families waiting several weeks to get in.

“We spend more time at home, and we wanted another dog to love. It was worth the wait,” said Christine Torres of National City, who walked out Monday with a new puppy.

Those wanting to adopt are also questioned about any possible exposure to coronavirus.

“We’re really doing everything we can to try and get as many animals out the door, but also keeping the community safe,” said Gercke.

More information about pet adoptions is available on the Helen Woodward Animal Center website.

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