SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Leaders at the Humane Society for Greater Savannah said adoption numbers have risen over the course of the pandemic, a trend they hope continues.
So far this year, more than 2,000 animals have been adopted from the shelter. Montana Thom, development and foster coordinator, said adoption numbers are on track to exceed last year’s total.
“I think people were stuck at home and they were lonely and they wanted some company,” Thom said. “It’s an amazing feeling the bond and attachment you feel when you adopt an animal from a shelter. It’s like an instant connection and just seeing how happy they are is really sweet.”
The Humane Society accepts animals from other local organizations, which means oftentimes, staff does not know the circumstances they are coming from. Other times, animals are surrendered by their owners.
While the shelter is primarily adoption-focused, they are always looking for volunteers, donations and fosters.
“At any given time, we’ll have 50 to 100 animals in foster, primarily neo-natal to kittens under eight weeks,” Thom said. “When a kitten and a puppy is under eight weeks old, their immune system isn’t built up enough where they can stay safely inside the shelter just because they would be exposed to too much here.”
Pets stay in the shelter for an average of two weeks, according to Thom. But after 30 days, an animal joins the “Our Lonely Heart” program and their adoption fee is reduced, they get promoted on social media and brought out to community events.
It costs $175 to adopt a pet from the shelter. Thom said medical costs including spay, neuter and vaccines are covered under that, which typically can be up to $1,000.
The Humane Society is also working to support pet owners through its pet food pantry. If owners are struggling to support their pet financially, they can seek assistance from the shelter.
“During COVID, we did see a need in our community with job loss where we had to grow our pet food pantry,” Thom said. “We’ve created drives with different communities with Savannah. We do a bi-weekly drive out on Tybee, we do a monthly one with Oasis of Hope, we also partner with Second Harvest and our Army bases as well to provide pet food out there.”
The Humane Society for Greater Savannah’s largest event of the year is coming up on Sunday, Oct. 17. The shelter’s Fall Fair will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and feature petting zoos, food trucks and dogs in costumes.