Metro Detroit shelters report surge in pet adoptions, fostering

Rinaldi says the group received 350 applications within 2 days
Posted at 5:52 PM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 07:33:16-04

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (WXYZ) — Several shelters in the metro Detroit area tell 7 Action News more people are showing an interest in pet adoption and fostering.

Pet Supplies Plus in Farmington Hills says they've turned to curbside pick-up to help meet that demand.

"The last two, three weeks has really picked up a lot. That's where the majority of our business is coming from, is curbside pickup," Ricky Hurd, manager of Pet Supplies Plus said.

Hurd says he's heard directly from animal rescue groups that people are adopting and fostering more during the pandemic.

Kristina Rinaldi is the executive director Detroit Dog Rescue.

She said, "We really put a call out for help, and this was in early March just saying we have over a hundred dogs in our system. We need to get them into homes where we know they are going to be safest."

Rinaldi says the group received 350 applications within two days.

"I think when we look at why people are fostering and adopting more is... the main answer is we all feel helpless right now. Ya know, we have our friends who are doctors and nurses and medical staff and hospital staff running to the frontlines and doing what they can and we're being told to stay home," she explained.

Rinaldi says people are doing what's within their power to help.

Mark Kumpf, director of Detroit Animal Care and Control, says the national standard is for nine out 10 dogs to leave a no-kill shelter alive.

"They either go back to their owner. They go to a foster. They go to a new adoptive home, or they get transferred to a rescue. Ya know, the Detroit animal control shelter's been struggling to reach that point, and in April of this year for the first time ever we hit 90% in the middle of a pandemic," he explained.

It's a positive coming out of a negative which makes it a win-win for shelters, pets, their new owners and pet supply stores.

"We could not do this without the citizens," Kumpf said.

With COVID-19 persisting, Hurd says they're also getting a lot of requests for deliveries. He says they may roll that out as soon as next week.