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WVC animal shelter is nearly empty as pet adoptions skyrocket

West Valley Animal shelter at 4522 W. 3500 South. From GoogleMaps

WEST VALLEY CITY — The West Valley Animal Services only has three dogs available for adoption right now.  That’s compared to their usual 60 dogs this time of the year.

While people who are stuck at home during coronavirus restrictions are helping to clear out the shelters, Maranda Weathermon, director of the West Valley facility, said spring is always the shelter’s busiest time of year.

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“As kids get out of school,” Weathermon said, “more people are available at home to help house-train a new pet.”  Having most people in quarantine right now, makes it a good time to adopt a pet.

But Weathermon said adoptions are nearly double this quarter over the same time period last year.

The shelter doesn’t want to see any of the animals return when people start going back to work.  

Weathermon said there are checks and balances in place now to make sure “people aren’t adopting in the spur of the moment.”  

If you are looking to bring a new “friend” into your home, Weathermon said the first step is filling out an application online, and then you must speak with an adoption counselor either by phone or via Zoom.

The counselor will ask what your family life is like — when you aren’t stuck at home — and if it is suitable for adopting a pet, including affording the cost to feed the animal.  How the pet will be cared for after you return to the workplace will also be discussed with the counselor.

And, “if the counselor agrees you are a good match,” Weathermon said, “the next step is to meet a potential new pet.”  If you go to the West Valley shelter in person, the meeting is by appointment only, and you will meet dogs in the backyard area of the shelter.

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Cats are greeted in an isolation room. The shelter now has 16 cats waiting for a new home.  That’s down from their regular 100 during this time of year.

One benefit from the lack of pets at the shelter is the absence of illnesses running through the facility. 

Weathermon says spring is particularly bad for upper respiratory diseases in pets, but with so few animals in a confined space right now, no illnesses are spreading around. 

Also she said, “None of the pets at the shelter right now are on any type of medications.”

For more information on adopting a pet, go to:

West Valley Animal Services

Humane Society 

Best Friends

Utah Animal Adoption Center

North Utah Valley Animal Shelter

Weber County Animal Shelter

St. George Animal Shelter