On Thursday, Riverside County Department of Animal Services (RCDAS) in Southern California shared a video of shelter employees standing next to empty cages and cheering.
“We cleared the shelter!” the adoption centre captioned the video. “All of our adoptable animals have been adopted! Thank you to everyone who adopted or fostered an animal.”
The increase in pet adoptions has come amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen much of the nation under lockdown in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.
In the heartwarming video, a Riverside County Animal Services employee named Julie explains that the shelter wanted to thank the community for stepping up in the time of need.
“The community has come forward to our plea to help us adopt and foster animals and right now, at our facility, we have no animals up for adoption!” she said, gesturing to the empty shelter.
In addition to expressing its gratitude, the agency also asked that pet owners reach out if they need help with their animals, rather than bringing them to the shelter.
“Please let us help you keep animals in your home rather than bringing them into the shelter,” Julie said, urging people to visit the shelter’s website for more information. “We have resources for you, we have ideas for you, we have ways that you can help us bring strays back home immediately.”
The news of the empty shelter was met with joy on social media.
“This is amazing! Thank you animal heroes!” one person commented.
Another said: “ Wow!! Speechless! Thank you so much for all your hard work! And always advocating for the four legged ones with no voice. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.”
The California shelter is not the only one to experience an influx in adoptions as Americans continue to practise social distancing at home. In March, Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), told The Daily Beast that the organisation had seen “a nearly 70 per cent increase in animals going into foster care through their New York City and Los Angeles foster programmes compared to the same time period in 2019”.
“Animals provide invaluable comfort and companionship, especially during times of crisis - and they certainly appreciate the attention they get - so we encourage people to continue to adopt or temporarily foster animals in need,” Bershadker said.