Southern Californians Stay True to Their Fluffy Pandemic Companions

By Vanessa Serna
Vanessa Serna
Vanessa Serna
June 4, 2021 Updated: June 6, 2021

Pet owners in Southern California who rushed to find a furry friend at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic are keeping their pets when they return to the office, shelters say.

“Despite alarmist headlines tied to regional reports of a surge in owner surrenders, this trend is not currently evident on a national level,” The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) said in a statement. “The vast majority of these households still have that pet in the home—90 percent for dogs and 85 percent for cats—and are not considering rehoming their pet in the near future.”

According to a survey by the ASPCA, close to one in five households, or 23 million American households, acquired a cat or dog since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Los Angeles and Orange County Animal Services confirmed that despite reports of pets being left behind, the county has not seen an increase in returns.

“We have found that because owners have been home during the pandemic, they have been able to work with their new family members to help them adjust to their new environment,” Los Angeles Animal Services spokesperson Agnes Sibal told The Epoch Times. “That has resulted in a really strong bond between pets and people.”

To support pet owners, Los Angeles Animal Services (LAAS) provides residents with programs, such as a food pantry to assist in feeding pets, and online forums to help overcome challenges.

At the beginning of the pandemic, LAAS joined the Human Animal Support Services (HASS) international coalition. The HASS joined with other animal organizations from around the county to discuss how to keep more animals in their homes and out of the shelter system with community programs to assist pets and owners.

LAAS said it strives to provide solutions and services to pet owners facing hardships to help keep families together.

Orange County pet lovers looking to add a furry companion to their homes might find one during a Super Pet Adoption event happening June 6 in Irvine.

The June 6 event, hosted by the Irvine Animal Care Center, will feature upwards of 150 animals.

“Making sure pets in need continue to find homes during COVID-19 has been important to the city, and we’ve been proud of our efforts to keep animal adoptions safe and accessible over the past year,” Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan said in a statement.

“We look forward to finding homes for our many four-legged friends this June.”

Advanced ticket reservations are required for all attendees, including children. Tickets are available for specific entrance times to ensure social distancing and limited gathering.

The 6443 Oak Canyon event runs on June 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Vanessa Serna
Vanessa Serna