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Rockingham-Harrisonburg SPCA reflects on the last year during the pandemic

The shelter has seen increases in both the fostering of animals and animal adoptions.
Published: Mar. 7, 2021 at 5:17 PM EST
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ROCKINGHAM, Va. (WHSV) - The Rockingham-Harrisonburg SPCA has seen tremendous growth in their fostering program this past year.

Huck Nawaz, Executive Director at the animal shelter, said they saw a 400% increase in foster homes in 2020.

Nawaz said the pandemic definitely added to the interest in the program because the most common reason they heard for people opening their homes to foster animals was availability.

The fostering program was limited before the pandemic, and Nawaz said the support in the last year has been remarkable.

“We definitely didn’t anticipate such a huge amount of growth in such a short amount of time, so lots and lots of animals benefitted from that certainly,” Nawaz said.

Adoption rates were also up in 2020 by about 20%, and 175 animals have been adopted so far this year.

Nawaz said the increase in fostering allows for more animals to come to the shelter, which is a life saving difference, and also allows animals to be better adjusted to living in a home.

He said the shelter is grateful for the awareness of the importance of fostering animals, not only in the community but nationally as well.

Nawaz said the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine is allowing for more volunteers to feel comfortable at the shelter, which is a good change from the start of the pandemic.

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