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Shelters Seeing Longer Stays for Larger Dogs

Adoption Slowdowns Impact the Animals Who Need it the Most
Berkeley Humane Offers Fee-Waived Adoption on 8/27

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 would spend at Berkeley Humane was under two weeks. Now the average stay is more than 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 constraints, but the cost of care and the investment in keeping the dogs in care has risen dramatically.

“While every adoptable pet will stay with us for as long as they need, shelters should be only temporary housing on their journey to finding a family of their own,” stated Jeffrey Zerwekh, Executive Director at Berkeley Humane. “When the public stops adopting dogs the entire system gets backed up and everything we do to care for their health and wellbeing gets twice as difficult – and expensive.”

Often, a slowdown in adoption impacts the animals who need it the most. Puppies and kittens still find new homes quickly, but older cats and dogs take much longer to adopt out. If the dog is a larger sized or older adult, they have a much harder time being connected with a new family.

“Nationally, almost every shelter has been experiencing volunteer and staffing shortages, a veterinarian shortage, and decreased funding which have made caring for our pet populations even more challenging,” according to Kristen Loomer, Berkeley Humane’s Director of Operations. “There are always obstacles to overcome in animal rescue, but at the end of the day it comes down to adopters from our community willing to open their homes to a new family member.”

Adopting from your local shelter is a good deal. Every animal at Berkeley Humane receives medical care and behavior evaluations before being made available for adoption. Included are all current vaccines, microchip, spay/neuter surgery, flea, tick, and worm treatments, felv/fiv test for cats at the discretion of our veterinarian, or heartworm preventative for dogs. The adoption package also includes a temporary leash or carrier, $250 worth of medical care with VCA Animal Hospitals, a certificate for a free examination at a local veterinary hospital, optional discounted pet insurance, and a 30% discount on dog training classes through Berkeley Humane’s dog training program, Train the Bay.

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

WHO: Berkeley Humane (Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society)

WHAT: Waiving adoption fees to find more pets homes

WHERE: 2700 Ninth Street, Berkeley CA

WHEN: Saturday Only, August 27th, 10 AM – 4 PM

WHY: Place 50+ pets with new loving families in a single day



Berkeley Humane is one of the oldest and most trusted animal welfare organizations in the Bay Area. With its origins dating back to 1895, today Berkeley Humane serves the people and animals of our community by providing life-saving programs for cats and dogs, cultivating compassion, and strengthening the human-animal bond. With the support of a dedicated and talented volunteer and staff team, Berkeley Humane intakes animals from municipals shelters around the Bay Area who are often in need of medical care, improved 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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