PAWS: Coronavirus Causes Drop in Adoption Rate


SAN ANGELO, TX – Concho Valley PAWS has experienced a drastic reduction in pet adoptions in the wake of the Coronavirus. 

PAWS is following recommendations which has resulted in modified business protocols and the cancellations of adoption events.  "We are still open for adoptions." said PAWS Executive Director Jenie Wilson.  "We have made some modifications to the adoption process to protect our staff and our adopters and to limit face to face interaction, but we still need to place pets in safe, loving homes." she said.  Beginning immediately, PAWS will offer “by-appointment only” adoptions.  "We hope that by implementing this procedure, people will feel comfortable knowing they do not have to face a crowd of people to adopt or foster a pet.  We have modified the entire process so that everything can be done online and via phone.  The only direct interaction an adopter will have with our staff is the appointment in which to pick up the pet." Wilson said.  Wilson also points out that "No one on our staff has traveled to an area of concern and if anyone feels unwell, they are not to report to work.  Volunteer activities have been temporarily suspended so we do not have the exposure of a large influx of people following Spring Break.   

Since the interaction with an animal prior to adoption is more limited with these safety protocols in place, PAWS is offering a 72 hour trial period to allow families to get to know the animal in their home environment and make sure it is the right pet for them.  "If within the 72 hour period the family feels that the dog or cat is not a good fit, they will simply call their adoption specialist and schedule a time to return the dog and their adoption fee will be refunded.  If  they decide to commit and keep the pet, the adopter does not need to come back to the shelter.  They can simply notify the adoption specialist by phone or email that the pet has found his or her forever home."  Wilson said.  

There is a lot of misinformation surrounding COVID 19.  "One thing we can tell you with certainty is that COVID 19 is not spread to humans from pets.  You can not catch this virus from your pet.  There is no evidence suggesting that dogs or cats can carry or transmit the virus.  You do not need to abandon your pet or surrender them to a shelter because you are afraid they will spread the disease to you or your family.  While there is a coronavirus that affects dogs and cats, it is a completely different virus from COVID 19 and it does not transmit from animal to human.  As always, we encourage you to contact your veterinarian if you have questions or concerns. " Wilson said.  

"Many communities across the country have experienced a drastic decline in adoptions and a rapid spike in owner surrenders.  This creates a space crisis, and without placing animals in foster homes or adoptive homes, these shelters will have to euthanize healthy, adoptable animals for space.  We are approaching that critical point and we must do everything we can to prevent killing animals for space." Wilson said.  "We cannot suspend adoption activities and foster placement.  We are pleading with animal lovers in our community to get involved and save a life.”   

Wilson stresses that fostering a pet isn't difficult and it isn't a long term commitment.  "As a foster volunteer, you simply open your heart and your home to a shelter pet.  PAWS will provide for all of the needs of the animals including medical care, kennels, toys and food. " Wilson said.  

By fostering a pet you will save two lives - the life of the pet you are fostering and the life of the pet who gets the kennel space you made available.  

If you can help, please email [email protected] or visit to complete the foster application.  

According to Wilson, "We need help from our community to get through this crisis.  Please consider helping.  It is a great way to get your family involved in giving back and to show children how to react to times of crisis and uncertainty with kindness and compassion.  Without help, healthy adoptable pets will be killed.  Please, contact us and help us make a difference.”  

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