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Shelters Seeing Longer Stays for Larger Dogs

Slow Adoption Hits Animals Who Need It Most Berkeley Humane Offers Free Adoption August 27

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, August 17, 2022 / — A significant slowdown in adoptions could be devastating for local shelter dogs. Before the start of the pandemic, the length of time a dog spent at Berkeley Humane was less than two weeks. Now, the average stay is over 130 days with no viable adopters in sight.

This is doubly challenging: Not only does it prevent Berkeley Humane from helping other animals in need due to space limitations, but the cost of care and investment to keep dogs in care has risen dramatically.

“While all adoptable pets will stay with us for as long as they need to, shelters should only be temporary accommodations on their journey to find a family of their own,” said Jeffrey Zerwekh, CEO of Berkeley Humane. “When the public stops adopting dogs, the whole system is supported and everything we do to take care of their health and well-being becomes twice as difficult and expensive.”

Often times, a slowdown in adoption affects the animals that need it most. Puppies and kittens still find new homes quickly, but older cats and dogs take much longer to adopt. If the dog is an older or larger adult, it will be much more difficult for them to connect with a new family.

“Nationally, almost every shelter has experienced volunteer and staff shortages, veterinarian shortages, and declining funding, which has made caring for our pet populations even more challenging,” according to Kristen Loomer, director of Berkeley Humane operations. “There are always hurdles to overcome in animal rescue, but at the end of the day it all comes down to adopters in our community willing to open their homes to a new family member.”

Adopting from your local shelter is a great deal. Every animal at Berkeley Humane receives medical care and behavioral evaluations before it is available for adoption. Included are all current vaccinations, microchipping, spay/neuter surgery, flea, tick and worm treatments, felv/fiv testing for cats at our vet’s discretion, or heartworm prevention for dogs. The adoption package also includes a temporary leash or carrier, $250 in medical care with VCA Animal Hospitals, a certificate for a free exam at a local veterinary hospital, optional discounted pet insurance, and 30% off training classes dog through Berkeley Humane’s Train the Bay dog ​​training program.

To further encourage adoptions, on Saturday, August 27, 2022, Berkeley Humane will waive all adoption fees to help facilitate the placement of as many animals as possible into loving new homes. More information available at

WHO: Berkeley Humane (Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society)
WHAT: Waive adoption fees to find more homes for pets
WHERE: 2700 Ninth Street, Berkeley CA
WHEN: Only on Saturday, August 27, from 10 am to 4 pm
WHY: Place over 50 pets with loving new families in a single day

Berkeley Humane is one of the oldest and most trusted animal welfare organizations in the Bay Area. With its roots dating back to 1895, today Berkeley Humane serves the people and animals of our community by providing life-saving programs for dogs and cats, cultivating compassion, and strengthening the human-animal bond. Supported by a team of dedicated and talented staff and volunteers, Berkeley Humane welcomes animals from municipal shelters around the Bay Area that are often in need of medical care, enhanced nutrition, enrichment, and lots of love. Learn more at

Elizabeth Ottinger
Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society
+1 510-845-7735
email us here

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