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PEDIGREE Foundation Reports August Shelter Survey Results

Last month, we fielded our second mini survey to gather perspectives and insights from our shelter and rescue network about the changing landscape in 2020.

Here are some key findings from the survey, which went to about 1,600 shelters and rescues that have applied for or received PEDIGREE Foundation grants or signed up for our newsletter.

Fostering Continues to be Critical

As was true in the spring, shelters and rescues continue to use fostering extensively to keep dogs in homes. In our June survey, respondents said the number of dogs in shelters had risen, on average, by about 8 percent during the spring.

In August, we asked how their use of fostering had changed since April. Nearly 50% said it had stayed the same and 35% said it had grown.

Graphic showing about half of shelters say their use of fostering is unchanged from April to August 2020.

Still Working in New Ways

During the pandemic, shelters and rescues across the country have had to find new ways of working, from launching “curbside adoption” programs to introducing pets to families via Zoom.

In August, nearly 75% of our survey respondents told us they are still not open for walk-in adoptions, and about half are using technology to facilitate their operations.

Graphic showing only 26% of shelters are open for walk-in adoptions as of August 2020.

Exploring Transport Challenges

Following up on write-in comments from our spring mini survey, we asked shelters and rescues to tell us about the transportation challenges they’ve been facing during the pandemic.

They ranked as the top three issues:

  • Source shelters unable to partner due to regional or state travel restrictions
  • Source shelters unable to partner due to financial challenges
  • Source shelters having a lack of pets available for transport

Graphic showing top issues challenging transport programs, like travel restrictions.

When we invited open-ended feedback about transport challenges, we heard a wide range of comments and concerns, including:

  • “We’re bogged down waiting for veterinary care.”
  • “Transporters unwilling to drive as far or as often.”
  • “We’re trying to transition to a fully foster-based rescue.”
  • “Covid-19 is exhausting.”
  • “Community surrenders have increased exponentially.”
  • “Hard to find drivers to do the transport.”
  • “We believe animal intakes will increase as unemployment benefits run out.”
  • “Affordable spay/neuter is the biggest problem for us during COVID-19.”
  • “We are full of dogs who are in limbo due to the courts being closed for a long time.”
  • “Fewer transport drivers want the exposure associated with travel.”
  • “Unable to afford health certificates and quarantine prior to transport.”

The Strain on Shelters and Rescues is Great

Again in August, we asked shelters and rescues to rank the key challenges they’re facing – and again the highest ranked concerns were financial.

Organizations continue to miss the fundraising opportunities they typical count on, like events and adoption fees. They also reported a lack of funds for day-to-day operations.

Graphic showing key concerns for shelters such as lack of fundraising opportunities.

Please Help us Help

As shelters and rescues continue working to help the dogs in their care and get them into homes, we’re working on how we can help.

Since April, PEDIGREE Foundation has awarded more than 100 Disaster Relief Grants for COVID-19 to shelters and rescues across the country. We hope our annual grants will provide even more support, with help from our generous donors.

If you can help, please donate here. The more we can assist shelters and rescues, the more dogs can get the loving homes they deserve.

Check below for our full August infographic (click to download as a PDF!). Click here to see the June 2020 results.

Graphic showing key results of PEDIGREE Foundation's August 2020 mini survey.