As virus spreads, animal adoptions from Israel’s largest shelter on rise
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As virus spreads, animal adoptions from Israel’s largest shelter on rise

80 dogs and cats rescued over last two weeks, compared with about 15 weekly during regular periods

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

Kion, a puppy from the Tel Aviv Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, with his new family, the Ravids of Ramat Gan. (Courtesy Tel Aviv SPCA)
Kion, a puppy from the Tel Aviv Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, with his new family, the Ravids of Ramat Gan. (Courtesy Tel Aviv SPCA)

Some 80 animals have been adopted in just two weeks from the country’s oldest and largest animal shelter, Tel Aviv’s Israel Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

“For these abandoned pets, it’s like the coming of the Messiah who rescues them from the agony and loneliness of a cage and takes them to loving families,” said shelter chairperson Hilma Shmoshkovitz.

The high adoption rate, which a statement from the Israel SPCA said was being felt by shelters elsewhere in the country, too, means that more cats and dogs from municipal pounds can be brought in and offered for adoption.

“Now that tens of cages are empty… we’re taking in dogs from pounds whose chances of finding homes from there are far less when requests for adoption from us are piling up, ” Shmoshkovitz  said.

Tyson, with his new owner Daniel Sonnenschein, at the Tel Aviv Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. (Courtesy Tel Aviv SPCA)

While the increase in adoptions is certainly good news, shelters worry that when the coronavirus crisis is over, and families return to work and school, many of the animals now being adopted will be returned.

Furthermore, as The Times of Israel reported last week, some regular monthly donations to the Israel SPCA — which can accommodate up to 300 dogs and 70 cats — have already been canceled by people panicked by the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus and unemployment.

“We are speechless when we look at the number of empty cages and just pray that the animals won’t return after the lockdown and the end of the coronavirus crisis, ” said Gadi Vitner, the Israel SPCA spokesman.

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