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Surrey dog adoptions on decline

Some shelter stays stretching for months, officials say
Honey has been at the Surrey Animal Resource Centre for more than 250 days. (Contributed photo)

After a flurry of adoptions at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Surrey’s animal shelter has seen a steady drop in adoptions.

And that drop, according to a news release issued this week, is leading to months-long stays at the Surrey Animal Resource Centre for some dogs.

Previously, the average stay was 11 days.

“We’ve seen that steadily increase and there are several dogs who have been in the shelter for more than 100 days,” Mayor Doug McCallum said in the release.

“I am proud of our Surrey staff who have worked hard to enhance the quality of life for these animals, but what they truly need is a forever home. It’s a good reminder to residents of Surrey that there are many animals in need of a loving owner and are sadly residing in our local shelter for far too long.”

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One dog named Honey has been at the shelter for more than 250 days, the release notes.

Honey was a ‘digger,’ prompting shelter staff to get creative and create a sandbox area that she and other furry friends use to play in. Sandboxes, the release explains, are a great option to deter dogs from digging. As well, dogs use the sand to lay in and stay cool.

Other upgrades at the shelter during the pandemic to help enhance quality of life for the animals residing there include an ‘Enchanted Forest’ area made of 3,300 lbs of recycled car tires, made possible through a grant from Kal Tire’s Kal’s RePlay Fund.

While the lovable and friendly Honey has taken on the role as the “unofficial shelter greeter,” this is not the ideal environment for her or the other dogs who have been at the shelter for months, the release continues. Long-term consequences of extended stays can include an increased chance of behavioural problems developing. Studies have also shown that animals’ immune systems can be impacted by long shelter stays.

The Surrey Animal Resource Centre (17944 Colebrook Rd.) is open daily from noon to 5 p.m., by appointment. For more information, or to donate, call 604-574-6622. Physical donations can be dropped off in the blue U-Line bin outside of the shelter during reception hours.
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Tracy Holmes

About the Author: Tracy Holmes

Tracy Holmes has been a reporter with Peace Arch News since 1997.
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