Several New England states boasted high adoption rates for both cats and dogs.

By Austin Cannon
February 04, 2021
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Nicely done, Nutmeggers and Rhode Islanders. You, too, Granite State residents. Y'all were the ones to record the highest cat and dog adoption rates during the pandemic, according to a new survey from Porch and Shelter Animals Count

The research found that so far Americans have adopted more than 750,000 shelter dogs and cats during the still-raging COVID-19 pandemic. About 54 percent of shelter animals have been adopted so far, a 3-percent increase from last year. 

It seems that three states in particular were in desperate need of furry friends in the initial months of the pandemic. (Us, too.) From March through September, the dog adoption rate in Connecticut sprung up to 92 percent. It measured 83 percent in Rhode Island, and Illinois set a rate of 82 percent, rounding out the top three. In those states, at least four out of every five dogs who entered a shelter were adopted. Nice! 

Photo of spaniel and white cat side-by-side
Credit: Yuliya Paska / EyeEm / Getty

For cats, New Hampshire set the adoption-rate standard at 83 percent. Rhode Island was again in second place with 80 percent, and Vermont came in third with 76 percent. Seems like New Englanders really understand the mental health benefits of adding a pet to the family, even helping humans ease our loneliness and make it harder to fall into a sense of dread during lockdown.    

Check out this interactive map of pet adoption across the country to see how your state did in comparison to others. Adoption rates are calculated by dividing the number of animals adopted to the number of animals in shelters. (Quite frankly, my native Missouri needs to step it up.) 

United State map showing state's adoption rates during the pandemic
Credit: Porch and Service Animals Count

Now, was your state more likely to adopt dogs or cats during the pandemic? It's a 25-25 split on that one. Overall, 55 percent of cats who were taken into shelters across the country were adopted while about 54 percent of dogs were welcomed into new families, according to Shelter Animals Count. 

map of united states in yellow and blow
Credit: Porch and Service Animals Count

Our pets were perhaps the one saving grace of an otherwise horrible 2020, and people seeking friendship and comfort adopted so many pets that shelters have started to run out of available animals.

Thinking of adopting a dog or cat? Make sure you're ready for the commitment, and when it's time, take the quiz to find out what kind of pet is right for you.