Want a kitten or puppy? Best time to adopt could be now
During this time when many people are still staying at home and tensions are rising across the country, more people are seeking out pets. The demand is so high, Nevada's Attorney General is warning that scammers are trying to take advantage of people trying to buy animals online. The Nevada Humane Society and SPCA of Northern Nevada say one way to avoid getting swindled is to adopt from a local shelter. They also say this is a great time to adopt if you're looking for a puppy or kitten.
"This is the best time of year to adopt a kitten or puppy from a shelter due to animal breeding seasonality," said Nicole Theodoulou, Marketing Director for the Nevada Humane Society. "This is when we see the highest numbers of puppies and kittens coming into our shelters."
The demand has been high for more than just baby animals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Theodoulou says the Nevada Humane Society has seen a 40 percent increase in the last week alone in the number of people adopting pets versus its in-animal population.
"People definitely want animal companionship now." said Theodoulou.
That is also tied into the increase in pet-selling scams. Nevada Attorney General Aaron Food says during this pandemic, more people have turned to online shopping to find their next furry family member and scammers are taking advantage of buyers by falsely advertising and posting pets for sale. He says some Nevadans have been left heartbroken when they are tricked into buying a pet that doesn't exist.
"They're taking advantage of people and using COVID-19 as an excuse to not show a pet in advance, not meet a pet in advance," said Laura Van Antwerp, Communications Manager for the SPCA of Northern Nevada. "So that's why we're seeing more people falling for this scam."
Van Antwerp says when you adopt from your local shelter, you know they are legitimate. You also have the security of knowing your helping a pet in need of a loving home. She says this could be the best time to adopt.
"Especially if you're still working from home," she said. "It's a great time to bring a puppy or kitten into your life and you can give them the training and time and patience that they deserve."
"We've heard so many wonderful stories from people who have adopted and volunteered to foster our pets during this pandemic of what a tremendous difference and positive influence it's made in their lives to have that animal companionship," said Theodoulou. "We realize people are struggling and this is a time of incredible stress and grief and the benefits of having an animal during your side during times like this can just really make a huge impact."
Amid the pandemic, the adoption process is happening online for both the Nevada Humane Society and SPCA of Northern Nevada. Both organizations recommend that people who are searching for a new pet check their websites daily and often.