How pet adoptions have been affected by the pandemic

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The pandemic is changing our lives in so many ways, including the addition of new furry family members.

It seems now is the time to make your pet adoption dreams come true, and adoptions are a trend we've noticed happening here at ABC13.

It started with a cute puppy pic in the ABC13 newsroom, little Oliver adopted by editor Charlie.

Then there was Lola, born a week before the pandemic, adopted by producer Ashley. Then another Oliver, who is a bit of a trouble maker, adopted by producer Justin, and Mr. Oswald, adopted from a rescue by Sarah on our web team.

Some of the cutest ABC13 pandemic pooches!

Turns out it's not just our newsroom. Pet adoptions are up.

"As soon as we went into lockdown I was kind of thinking about it because I wanted to take advantage of all of this extra time," Nirmi Bhakta said.

Bhakta's entire family has been working from home since March.

These pandemic dogs (okay, mostly dogs) have our hearts!

"At the beginning it was a lot of running around and cleaning up, but now that we've kind of settled into a routine. It's nice to be out more," Bhakta said. "We get our morning and nightly walks in together and it's nice to get a break from work too. We kind of get sucked into our computers now that we are working from home."

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You may be like Bhakta and finally made the decision to adopt your first puppy, or maybe you're like KTRK producer Brett, adopting a second dog, or viewer Lauren Miller who added a new puppy for her cat.

In 2020, roughly 20% of people in a Zillow survey said they adopted one or more dogs and cats between the first and third quarter of the year.

More furry friends who found new homes during the pandemic!

Here in Houston, BARC Animal Shelter and Adoptions says their numbers are less promising for 2020. Adoption and foster numbers were down for the year, but rescue and transport numbers were at an all-time high.

BARC 2020 totals:
  • Adopted - 4,927
  • Foster - 2,754
  • Return to Owner- 927
  • Transfer/Rescue- 13,157

If you're thinking about adopting, now could be a great time.

"I don't think we are ever going to get this time back, and so might as well put it towards something meaningful," Bhakta said.

If you're considering adopting a pet, most places require you to make an appointment in advance by calling the shelter. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, most shelters are not allowing walk-ins.

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