ST. CLOUD -- Dogs and cats aren't living in shelters for long these days. Experts with the Animal Humane Society report a disruption in the supply chain, meaning some shelters in the US have oversupply, while others have few, due to COVID-19-related travel limitations.

Anna Stratton, Customer Service Manager with the Tri-County Humane Society says, that's not exactly the here, since the shelter doesn't have the space for cross-country animal transfers. They have, however, seen an uptick in adoptions of all types of animals.

“It’s tapering off a little but now,” Stratton said. “At the beginning, when everybody was starting to stay at home, a lot of people were coming in and saying that they have that time they need to really forge that bond with a new pet. For a lot of folks, it’s not a luxury they had prior to the stay at home order.”

These days, everything done at TCHS is by appointment, and Stratton says they are booked out days in advance.

The majority of the animals up for adoption have been surrendered by their owners, but Stratton says TCHS will accept transfers every now and then.

“Our shelter is not large enough to accommodate a large number coming in,” Stratton said. “We have taken some from out of state in the past, but most of the transfers we get are coming from more local areas, usually reservations.”

Stratton says the shelter also carries the majority of stray housing contracts for the area, meaning the shelter can swell to capacity quickly.

“For the most part, every dog in the building except for one has a deposit," Stratton said. "So, it’s been a very high-demand time and the animals are moving as quickly as they can.”

The shelter offers 30 minute appointments every day from 12:30-4:30 p.m. Stratton says those who have already placed deposits on animals have the option to book a morning appointment.

For the most part, Stratton isn't concerned about most of the animals leaving TCHS's care during the stay at home order.

“I’m sure there will be a handful that will return when people go back to work and realize their schedules are too busy and they weren’t quite prepared,” Stratton said. “But the general sense I’m getting is that a lot of people are taking this seriously. The plan is to get into a routine with their pets and continue that routine when they go back to work.”

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