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Americans adopted fewer pets from shelters in 2020 as the supply of rescue animals fell

By Shelly Volsche, Lecturer of Anthropology, Boise State University
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Demand for new pets certainly seemed to spike when the COVID-19 pandemic reached the United States in early 2020 and forced many Americans to spend more time isolated.

But adoptions from animal shelters and rescues actually fell 17% to approximately 1.6 million in 2020 from over 1.9 million in 2019, according to Shelter Animal Counts, a nonprofit that tracks data regarding animals that spend time in shelters.


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