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Animal shelters seek to continue adoptions, aid pet owners during COVID-19 outbreak

Courtesy of Brandywine Valley SPCA

Pet shelters are making sure their pets are cared for - and adopted - during the coronavirus pandemic.


Even with the pandemic keeping people home, adoptions are up 33 percent at the Brandywine Valley SPCA, while fosters have doubled compared to this time last year. Last week alone, there were 92 pets adopted.

The Brandywine Valley SPCA’s Linda Torrelli says despite those numbers, they still have pets at their shelters.

"We don't know what the future is going to bring, right now we've got a lot of animals out in foster but of we also have a lot of animals still in our care and should something happen where we need to close our shelters we need those pets to be in homes and not in a shelter."

The Delaware Humane Association saw 58 adoptions over the past two weeks. They normally do about 170 a month, so it’s a slight drop, but they are now limited to doing adoptions by appointment.

And DHA’s Hannah Jones says people stepped up to foster animals. 

"We put out a plea to encourage people to be able to foster a pet, and our community definitely responded,: said Jones. "We have over 60 dogs in foster care right now and over 50 cats."

Jones adds putting the animals in foster care was a necessity.

"We have made the decision to move the majority of our animals into foster care just to be able to minimize the need for as many staff that's at both of our locations," said Jnes. "It just helps us to be able to maintain the social distancing that is needed this time."

Both venues are accepting donations through their Amazon wishlists and their websites, you can also donate to the Brandywine Valley SPCA through

While trying to get through the pandemic on their own, the pet shelters are still working hard to help pet owners during the coronavirus pandemic.

While many are forced to work at home, some do not have that luxury, and it’s even tougher for pet owners needing to care for a dog or cat.

The Brandywine Valley SPCA and Delaware Humane Association are still working to help those who need it.

"What we're trying to do right now is help families with things like pet food and other services that can help them keep their pets if they're facing some financial pressures," said Torelli. "We have our pet food pantry open now anytime the shelter is open. So folks can just come in and say I need some help for some pet food for my cat or dog, and we're going to get them all set up."

The Delaware Humane Association is also helping residents with their own drive through food pantry for pets.  One is at the Pet Smart in Rehoboth Beach Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m.

Supplies are limited for that drive through food pantry, especially for cat food.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.