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COVID 19’s Impact on animal shelters

Writer|Andrew Miller

Volunteer workers at the Lehigh County Humane Society (LCHS) have been giving a helping hand to other shelters in the area throughout the COVID 19 outbreak.

While some shelters in the nation have struggled to maintain their pre-virus state, with a lack of volunteers and funding, LCHS saw a jump in statistics unseen before.

In 2019, 73 animals were transferred from other shelters to LCHS. During the 2020 year, 578 animals had been transferred.

“Cats have been adopted more than dogs during COVID”

said Sabrina Alvarez, a volunteer at Lehigh County Humane Society.

“Dogs are higher maintenance. Everyone was unsure when they would return to work and may not have time to take care of a dog with a busy work schedule. As a whole, COVID was a great time for most shelters.”

At LCHS, adoptions increased by roughly 25%, with 357 additional animals adopted, which is nearly an extra animal a day.

LCHS prides itself on striving for a 100% Live Release Rate. Live Release Rate is the percentage of animals that are euthanized or die in shelter from old age or disease. In 2019, the yearly Live Release Rate for LCHS was 77%.

During the lockdown, the rate has shockingly increased to 97%.

“Post COVID, there has been an increase in animals brought into shelters. As people return to work, many animals are being returned.”, says Alvarez.

The Lehigh County Humane Society has been the top shelter in the area for years, and their acts over lockdown have been more than admirable.


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