PLEASANTON (KPIX 5) — Things can get a little lonely during three months of isolation from friends. So a lot of people are looking to adopt a friend – the four-legged kind.
The Valley Humane Society in Pleasanton usually tries to find homes for unwanted pets. But lately there are a lot more homes than there are pets.
“It’s an adoption frenzy and it’s fantastic. We love it,” said Melanie Sadek, the shelter’s Executive Director.
People are so starved for companionship during the shelter-in-place that the demand for a furry housemate has reached levels the shelter has never seen before.
“On average, when you have the facility open, you might have five phone calls inquiring about a certain animal. It might take up to a week, maybe two weeks to send them home,” Sadek said. Right now, we can get anywhere from 50 phone calls per available animal.
Betsy Irish’s family had no idea it would be so hard to finally find their new dog, Lance.
“We’ve been from L.A to San Jose, to Santa Rosa. We were in Vallejo, Stockton, Lodi, Fremont, you name it,” said Irish. “There’s a lot of people that want dogs and we got super lucky, because look at Lance!”
Another reason the facility is so empty is that most animals are actually kept off-site in foster homes and only brought in to meet prospective adopters. Valley Humane normally has about 75 foster keepers, like Sarah Taylor, who is currently caring for three six-week old kittens. But when the shelter had to close its building, it put out a call for more foster homes. More than 500 people volunteered.
“I just think, as humans, we need to take care of something and we need to not talk to ourselves!” said Sadek. “And Zoom only does so much for us!”
She might be on to something. In times when we feel most helpless, it feels good to help someone else. Even someone with whiskers.
“It’s very rewarding,” said Taylor, as she picked up a tiny kitten. “I mean, look at these guys! It’s a dream!”
The shelter’s director says people are getting frustrated when they can’t find a pet to adopt. She recommends they “cast a larger net” and search shelter websites from out of the area. And she says it helps if people are less picky about the kind or breed of animal they might be looking for.