Long Stays for Dogs at Surrey Shelter as Adoptions Fall During Pandemic
After a flurry of adoptions at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Surrey’s animal shelter has seen a steady drop in adoptions, leading to months-long stays for some dogs compared to the previous 11-day average.
Surrey, BC – After a flurry of adoptions at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Surrey’s animal shelter has seen a steady drop in adoptions, leading to months-long stays for some dogs compared to the previous 11-day average.
“At the start of the pandemic, the average length of stay for dogs at Surrey Animal Resource Centre was 11 days,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “We’ve seen that steadily increase and there are several dogs who have been in the shelter for more than 100 days. I am proud of our Surrey staff who have worked hard to enhance the quality of life for these animals, but what they truly need is a forever home. It’s a good reminder to residents of Surrey that there are many animals in need of a loving owner and are sadly residing in our local shelter for far too long.”
One dog named Honey has been at Surrey Animal Resource Centre for more than 250 days.
Honey was a 'digger,’ prompting shelter staff to get creative and create a sandbox area that Honey and other furry friends utilize to hide/dig up toys and play in. Sandboxes are a great option to deter dogs from digging, and dogs also use the sand to lay in and stay cool.
There have been other upgrades at the shelter during the pandemic to help enhance quality of life for the animals residing there, including an ‘Enchanted Forest’ area made of 3,300 lbs of recycled tires from 215 car tires, made possible through a grant from Kal Tire’s Kal’s RePlay Fund.
While the loveable and friendly Honey has taken on the role as the “unofficial shelter greeter,” this is not the ideal environment for her or the other dogs who have been at the shelter for months. There can be long-term consequences for animals who stay in shelters for long periods, including an increased chance of behavioural problems developing. Studies have also shown that animals' immune systems can be impacted as a result of long shelter stays.
The Surrey Animal Resource Centre (17944 Colebrook Rd.) is open daily from noon to 5 p.m., by appointment only during the pandemic. Donations to the shelter can be made through Canada Helps (http://bit.ly/SARCdonateonline), by phone at 604-574-6622, and items can be purchased through the shelter’s Amazon wishlist (https://bit.ly/SARCwishlist. Physical donations can be dropped off in the blue U-Line bin outside of the shelter during reception hours (noon to 5 p.m.).