COVID-19 sets record for furry friends adopted

CARMA Fredericton chair Gabrielle Hough feels adoption rates increased during COVID-19. (Submitted: Lindsay Ogg)

Shona Newton, the owner of the Purrfect Cup cat café, said their adoption rates for stray cats have increased since the pandemic began. Usually, she has a hard time finding homes for the cats, but this time it’s different.

“Literally the week that we reopened after COVID, [the cats] got adopted,” said Newton.

Adoption experience differs depending on the age of the animals. The café deals with older cats while Cat Rescue Maritimes, another organization that rescues cats, primarily focuses on kittens.

Gabrielle Hough, chair of CARMA Fredericton, said she thinks the adoption rates increased because families are able to fully socialize with the animals while they’re young.

CARMA initially thought COVID-19 would decrease adoption rates, but they said they were pleasantly surprised. 

“In the month of September, we did 47 adoptions. That’s a record for us,” said Hough.

CARMA said they were fortunate but still faced many challenges with COVID-19. CARMA usually places kittens with a foster family and makes the introduction in the family’s home, but this changed with COVID-19. 

“We have a really strong and good relationship with PetSmart. They have an in-store adoption centre and they stepped up,” said Hough. “Our adoptions picked right up.”

Newton said the experience with pet adoption will differ based on the age of an animal. 

Both Hough and Newton said it’s helpful to have another cat in the home because it helps with development and socialization, making it easier for the cat to adjust.

“We love it when the cats are able to go home with another cat because we generally find they’re happier,” said Newton.

Second-year student Lindsay Ogg adopted her kitten, Jack, from a student through Facebook. (Submitted: Lindsay Ogg)

Lindsay Ogg, a second-year fine arts and English major at St. Thomas University, adopted her ginger kitten, Jack, from a student. The person Ogg adopted from was fostering from a litter she found on Facebook. Ogg discovered Jack when visiting her friend and said she made the decision to take him in. 

Ogg said her roommates were thinking of adopting since a lot of time would be spent inside with online school.

“My roommates were making jokes saying, ‘we should get a cat’. I was the one saying, ‘no we shouldn’t,’” said Ogg.

At least one person is always home to play and socialize with Jack. Ogg uses the buddy system which suggests having at least two animals in the house so they don’t get lonely. She and her two roommates have a dog that keeps Jack company.

“She’s calm, so Jack can be the hyper one,” said Ogg.“At first, they just co-existed, but now they play.

Ogg said she used to work on campus every day but now she only goes once a week so she can stay home with the cat.

“It’s definitely something I look forward to coming home to.”