More people adopting pets during pandemic, Lollypop Farm at 91% save rate


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Pet adoptions have increased during the pandemic, including here in our area. Dogs, cats, and other furry friends are proving to be the bright spot many people need during such a tough time.

Lollypop Farm currently has a record 91% save rate and did during 2020 as well. Ashley Zeh is the associate director of communications at Lollypop.

“We’ve seen people come to adopt, we’ve seen increases in foster care, really just increases in support in general,” Zeh said.

She said even pets that weren’t people’s first choice before are being embraced now, including ‘spirit cats.’ These are cats that are fearful of people or don’t want to socialize at the shelter.

“It’s really been wonderful for people to embrace them for who they are and come out and adopt them and help give them that second chance they may not have gotten previously,” Zeh said.

Wendy Weisberg owns the Second Hand Dog Rescue and said she currently has 80 pending applications.

“We’ve had dogs that normally would take longer time to adopt and they’re getting adopted like senior dogs, dogs with special needs, dogs who might not necessarily be a cuddly little puppy,” Weisberg said.

While many people have the time to train a puppy or give a pet a lot of attention right now while they’re at home, that won’t be the case forever. Weisberg said that’s taken into consideration during the adoption process.

“If you’re not sure what your schedule will be like after everything goes back to normal, hopefully, we need fosters, we need volunteers to come walk dogs.”

Zeh said the adoption counselors at Lollypop also make sure to ask people not only their current situation, but what it will look like after the pandemic, to match everyone with a pet that will work with their lifestyle.

Both said seeing these pets find homes is heart warming.

“To see them really embrace our community’s pets still it’s just so inspiring.”

Lollypop Farm is currently doing adoptions by appointment only. You can book up to seven days in advance.

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