After seeing a surge of pet adoptions while people were stuck at home, Cookeville Putnam County Animal Shelter said they haven’t seen a resurgence in animals at the shelter.
Shelter Director Jennifer Tracy said that luckily, the population at the shelter has remained low as people return to normal daily life and are home less.
“We were concerned that we would see a surge when some of the lockdowns started getting lifted, but we didn’t. I really don’t know how to explain it all, but this has been a trend throughout the country from what I’ve seen, reading publications and seeing things that a lot of shelters are seeing the same thing right now,” said Tracy.
With numbers down, Tracy said she thinks it has more to do with people realizing they’re better equipped to care of animals than they previously thought, rather than animals getting spayed and neutered. Tracy said that because of the pandemic, there was a shortage of medical supplies needed for these procedures like gloves and syringes, as well as a shortage in veterinary personnel.
“In the animal welfare community in the very beginning when all of the lockdowns were going on, and the medicals supplies were short, the advice was, ‘spay and neuter is not a priority right now, those supplies are needed for human health,'” said Tracy. “We thought we would probably see some effects from that later on from animals not getting fixed.”
Tracy said that it’s possible we’re already seeing these effects as the number of puppies is larger than usual. While the number of puppies is higher, one thing that has remained constant is “kitten season.” Tracy said that the pandemic and an increase in adoptions has not slowed down the arrival of new litters.
Tracy said the biggest thing the shelter needs assistance with is finding foster homes to help care for the kittens until they are of adoption age. For more information call the shelter or visit their Facebook page.