Has the pandemic adoption boom faded? Not in South Los Angeles, where residents seem more willing to adopt from their local shelters. The South LA Animal Services Center opened to the public on weekends in August, and the number of adoptions is up from the same time last year.
Last August, the shelter had 70 cat adoptions. Last August, they had 111, an increase of about 59%. Dog adoptions are also booming, with 115 dog adoptions in August compared to 81 in August 2020.
“One of the things we’ve noticed, especially now that we’re open to the public on the weekends, is that we’re getting more foot traffic and we’re getting more adoptions across the board,” he said. Justin Khosrowabadi, public relations specialist for the South LA Animal Services Center.
They operated by appointment only for most of the pandemic and still do not accept walk-in visitors Monday through Friday. But on Saturdays and Sundays, the center’s doors are open to the public so residents can simply walk in without an appointment to adopt from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Prospective pet owners can complete an online application to reduce phone wait times when booking an appointment. LA City residents can also call 311 to connect with LA Animal Services to schedule an appointment.
Lai Xu holds a Ph.D. studying quantitative psychology at USC. She adopted her dog Smoky from South LA Animal Services on her birthday, after spending a lot of time watching animal videos on her phone and being inspired to become a pet parent.
“I think it really gave me time to think about whether I can handle one and I realize that they can be good company during this time,” Xu said.
The South LA Animal Service Center is one of the largest animal adoption centers in Los Angeles. During the pandemic adoption boom, they saw their shelter population dwindle.
“An interesting thing we noticed compared to last year in August, the number of dogs, cats and kittens that entered through the doors, whether they were strays or lost animals, only the total number has decreased slightly,” Khosrowabadi said.
Rebecca Tang, a full-time customer experience manager living in San Bernardino County, adopted her fifth pet, Nuggy, from the South LA Animal Services Center.
“I think it’s very plausible for someone to find one that fits their lifestyle at the shelter if they’re looking to own another animal. So that’s something I have to say, it’s not just dogs and cats, it’s a lot of other pets too. People should be encouraged to browse them before looking for a breeder or pet store,” Tang said.