LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — There are dozens of cats and dogs inside of Humane Society waiting to be someone's next furry friend.
"There's is nothing that replaces letting people come in and look at all of the pets," Julie Austin, Development Director for the Humane Society of Pulaski County said.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the Humane Society saw a big spike in adoptions according to Austin.
"It was a good time with people at home," Austin said.
Eventually, those adoptions began to slow down. That's partially why the animal shelter waited so long to allow the public back inside.
"Having 200 animals in our care, if we were to have had COVID sweep our staff, or had to quarantine, we could have really been in a bad situation," Austin said.
They saw a difference in numbers. She said one weekend she saw three adoptions happen which is lower than their average of 20 adoptions.
"We are just seeing an increase overall in our requests for people to surrender a pet to us," Austin said.
The animal shelter is a no-kill facility, meaning they will never euthanize an animal to free up space.
New data shows that in Arkansas, some shelters are responsible for 57% of animal deaths.
"When we're able, we help municipal shelters and pull in and transfer in from those facilities that don't have the luxury of never euthanizing for space," Austin said.
Now that the Humane Society is back, people are still able to interact with the animals inside, but a big change is that you'll need to apply for the volunteer or foster program.
Those small changes can increase adoptions, according to Austin.
"Obviously for every one we adopt, we're actually saving two because it's that one and then that open space for us to take in another pet," Austin said.
If you are interested in learning more about how to adopt a pet from the Human Society of Pulaski County, along with fostering and volunteering, you can visit here.