(KRON) — Larger dogs are seeing longer stays in shelters in the face of a significant slowdown of adoptions that could be “devastating” for local shelter dogs, according to a press release from the Berkeley Humane Society. Prior to the pandemic, the length of time a dog would spend at Berkeley Humane was under two weeks. The average stay is now more than 130 days, with “no viable adopters in sight,” the release states.

Berkeley Humane says this not only impacts the cost and care of the dogs in the shelters but also prevents the organization from helping other animals, due to space constraints.

“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.” 

The slowdown is impacting older dogs and cats in particular, especially older, larger dogs, as the society is finding it harder to connect them with families.

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To help encourage more adoptions, Berkeley Humane will be waiving adoption fees on Saturday, Aug. 27.

Animals at Berkeley Humane receive medical care and behavior evaluations before being made available for adoption. Current vaccines, microchips, spay/neuter surgery, flea, tick and worm treatments are also included, according to the press release.

For more information, and to see a listing of available pets, visit berkeleyhumane.org