Pandemic pet popularity slowing down at Surrey shelter

Surrey Animal Resource Centre is facing a large backlog of adoptable pets. Angela Bower speaks to the shelter manager about a young dog who has been at the centre for over eight months and needs a forever home.

The Surrey Animal Resource Centre has a big backlog of adoptable dogs, especially larger ones, and says many have been waiting months for a permanent home as pandemic-related adoptions slow down.

Manager Shelley Joaquin says the shelter has just under 100 animals.

She says some dogs, like Honey, have been at the shelter for 259 days.

surrey dog shelter

Honey has been at the shelter for 8 months and loves to play and dig. (CityNews)

“We’ve seen a real increase in length of stay for some of the animals, but particularly our larger dogs,” she said.

She says staff have been working to stay creative to keep the animals entertained.

“Honey, for example, loves to dig and so she was redecorating the yard a little bit. So we actually created sandboxes for her to dig in. And it’s just been a wonderful solution to the digging and she loves to bury toys or treats in the sand. She loves to dig them up and find them,” she said.

An ‘Enchanted Forest’ area was also created, using 3,300 lbs of recycled tires from 215 car tires, made possible through a grant from Kal Tire’s Kal’s RePlay Fund.

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“I’d really like to encourage people in the community to consider adopting a larger dog from the shelter. They make great pets and just because they’re bigger doesn’t mean they necessarily require more exercise.”

She would also like to see the community look at upgrading strata, bylaws and rental agreements in order  “to remove breed and size restrictions that can allow loving responsible families to bring in these types of animals into their homes.”

Due to staffing shortages, the Surrey Animal Resource Centre had to cut back its hours, but is open daily from noon to 5 p.m., by appointment only.

You can check out the pets available for adoption on the Facebook page. 

With files from Omni

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