The Riverside County Animal Shelter has a beautiful problem: It’s all out of adoptable animals. “As you can see, we have a completely empty adoption center,” animal services director Julie Bank says in a video posted Wednesday on the California shelter’s Instagram account. She and her coworkers, all wearing masks, throw their arms up and cheer, showing off empty pen after empty pen. A few days earlier, on Sunday, Chicago Animal Care and Control’s Adoptable Pets program had similar news. “CACC has no dogs currently available for adoption,” the shelter told its Facebook followers. “We’ve never typed those words before.” The last adoptable dogs—a “short, squat beefcake” named Penn and a “boisterous babe” named Alley—had found loving homes that day.
All over the country, from New York to Wisconsin and North Carolina to Colorado and New Mexico, animal shelters are reporting massive upswings in the numbers of animals they’ve been