PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – While the coronavirus has inspired some to reconnect with people, others have taken this cue to befriend different species.
Pinellas County Animal Services’ shelter has gone completely empty multiple times in the last five weeks, and director Doug Brightwell claims these numbers are unprecedented.
“Adoption rates have gone up. We are adopting out almost every animal we put out for adoption, almost every single day,” said Brightwell.
There are only three remaining dogs in a facility built to hold 120.
“I’ve been in the animal business almost 20 years, and I’ve never been able to say we ran out of adoptable cats and dogs,” Brightwell explained.
As the laws of microeconomics suggest, a demand increase usually portends a supply decrease, and that has been another contributing factor to this depletion.
“We’ve seen a couple things we didn’t expect, the first being that the number of animals coming into the facility, dogs, especially, has dropped.”
Brightwell said the number of cats in the shelter has dropped as well.
“Our new cat adoption center opened two weeks ago and it’s already empty. It’s a phenomenal thing. This is a problem that we’re enjoying, because we’ll probably never see it again in our careers.”
Even if it keeps experiencing total vacancy, the shelter still aims to help the caretakers who might be experiencing the financial weight of caring for a new houseguest during a pandemic.
You can donate online to their Animal Welfare Trust Fund, as well as see the “Wish List” for their food pantry, at PinellasCounty.org/Animal Services. You can also call 727-582-2600.