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Seattle animal adoptions down nearly 50% amid COVID-19 outbreak

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SEATTLE -- As we all continue to combat the spread of COVID-19, virtually every business and nonprofit is affected, including animal shelters. Not only are employees navigating how to continue to safely do their job like the rest of us, they're also seeing a big decrease in pet adoptions.

"Our adoptions are down by almost 50%, so that speaks to what's happening in the community," says Seattle Animal Shelter director Ann Graves.

The Seattle Animal Shelter is proof: what's happening in the world right now isn't just affecting the lives of humans. Homeless animals are also impacted.

"People are thinking of other things and obviously worrying, but we wanna make sure people know that we are here, and we have a lot of animals up for adoptions," says Graves.

Seeing full kennels at the shelter isn't just sad, it's stressful for employees who know the crisis with COVID-19 could cause a mass intake of pets if people get ill, or feel they can no longer financially support their pet.

"Anytime we are collectively faced with the prospect of more animals coming in than we're able to move back out through adoptions and getting their forever homes, it's deeply concerning and it's hard."

But Graves hopes the situation could turn around, and people could realize now is actually the perfect time to adopt.

"If you are in a position where you're working from home and you've been thinking about adding a family member of the furry or feathery or scaly variety, this is a great time to do that."

In addition to suddenly being at home 24/7, a new best friend could help people through these troubling times.

"What better time to bring an animal into your home than when you're facing some stress of your own? We all know, science shows how much animals decrease our stress levels."

While the Seattle Animal Shelter looks closed from the outside, you can still their adoptable animals here.

Following social distancing protocols, the shelter isn't taking walk-ins, but you can make an appointment through their website to come in and meet your future pet.

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