‘I’ve never seen anything like this,’ Local animal shelter emptying as quarantine continues

There is some positivity during this pandemic, people at home under quarantine are using this time to adopt or foster a furry companion.

Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) — There is some positivity during this pandemic, people at home under quarantine are using this time to adopt or foster a furry companion. This is helping to empty shelters nationwide.

That includes local shelter Columbia Animal Services, where a lot of animals have been finding new homes.

“This is the first time we’ve seen anything like this,” said Marli Drum, Superintendent of Columbia Animal Services.

With people home and not going to work or school, many are finding comfort in a new furry friend.

“We are indeed seeing fewer animals coming in right now, and because people are home it’s been great. We’ve actually seen a lot of animals get adopted. So as of right now, we’re down to just three dogs and four cats,” said Drum.

The number of adoptable animals varies from day to day, and it’s been good for the staff to see more animals finding homes. There haven’t’ been a lot of new animals coming in.

“Having that animal around is just great company, their unconditional love, it’s a great way to spend your time and appreciate that pet,” said Drum.  

Normally, the shelter would be caring for hundreds of animals instead of just a few dozen.

“We probably have two dozen, maybe three dozen animals total in here right now. And typically this time of year we could have easily have 250 to 300 animals,” said Drum. “That was a concern initially, that we would see more animals coming in because of loss of jobs or being furloughed or what have you, but we haven’t really seen that.”

But there are still some animals in need if you need a companion while in quarantine.

“We are seeing the young kittens starting to come in right now and the young puppies, so there is a need. And it’s a great time to foster or adopt,  because with people being home, it’s that much easier to acclimate that new pet to their new home and have the time to spend time with a foster pet if prefer to do that,” said Drum. 

An animal finding a new home can be a bright spot in a dark time.

“In 24 plus years of doing this, I’ve never seen anything like this. So we don’t really know what to expect when this is over, but for now, it’s really nice to be able to see the shelter fairly empty,” said Drum.

If you’d like more information on adopting or fostering, you can call Columbia Animal Services at (803) 776-7387 or visit their Facebook page.

Categories: Local News, News, State