By Rachel Holt

BOSTON (CBS) – Pet adoptions are skyrocketing as animal shelters try to keep up.

Director of Adoption Centers and Programs at MSPCA-Angell Michael Keiley said, “What we’re finding to be a challenge is that there’s so many people that want to adopt animals and they far outpace the animals we have available for adoption.”

Dot Baisly at the Northeast Animal Shelter said it can take, “weeks to months to get an appointment in some cases. Everybody is looking to adopt a dog or a cat.”

“Up front, there was a 20% increase in adoption right at the beginning of the pandemic in the first few weeks,” Keiley said.

In Massachusetts, the number of pet adoptions has skyrocketed during the pandemic. (WBZ-TV)

And interest in adoption has remained, with work and school schedules changing.

Beth Ann Cornell, of Salem, recently adopted a puppy. “We got him four weeks ago. I have three kids. They’re all home; they’re all doing a good job taking care of the dog, so it’s a fun little distraction to have,” she said.

Dan Carlson owns Walk A Pup in Salem, a business that offers dog training, walking and pet sitting. When asked what reason he’s seeing for adoptions, he said, “Now we’re home and it seems like I can give the dog the attention that I couldn’t do before, and so that definitely is the number one reason, which is completely pandemic related.”

That, and the need for companionship, Baisly said. “Some of the people are citing loneliness or inability to have any other social outlet as well.”

You could call the demand a good problem to have, and MSPCA-Angell recently teamed up with the Northeast Animal Shelter in an effort to bring adoptable cats and dogs to the region.

“We’re bringing animals in from other parts of the country that are overpopulated with animals to bring them to this area in New England where there’s a lot of people looking to adopt animals,” Keiley said.

If you are looking to adopt, The Northeast Animal Shelter says to be patient — and check back regularly on their website and social media for updates.

Rachel Holt