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Natural Awakenings Healthy Living Magazine

Crisis in Current Rate of Pet Adoptions

Animal shelters and rescues across the state, including the Ann Arbor Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV), are battling a capacity crisis of historic levels. More kittens have come in to HSHV this year than in the past 15 years, and dogs are waiting twice as long for adopters. Dogs in the Grand Rapids Kent County Animal Shelter are waiting an average of 30 days longer for adoption. The Royal Oak animal shelter reports 200 percent capacity for dogs this year.

            HSHV CEO Tanya Hilgendorf says, “Current economic conditions and people going back to work are likely causing the slowdown of dog adoptions, but we also know we are competing with puppy mills that sell dogs to pet stores and online dealers, and many families are still buying purebreds and designer breeds.”

            Dr. Julie Levy, the Fran Marino distinguished professor of shelter education at the University of Florida, says, “We can have generations of animals that have been born simply because of the COVID shutdown, and the clinics couldn’t recover.” HSHV encourages people to “Adopt, not shop.”

HSHV is open for adoptions seven days a week and does not require appointments. For more information, visit