Chicago shelter runs out of adoptable animals for first time ever amid coronavirus crisis

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A Chicago animal shelter says it ran out of adoptable animals for the first time ever on Tuesday, in the middle of the coronavirus crisis gripping the country.

“It’s something we’ve never thought we’d say,” Chicago Animal Care and Control (CACC) wrote in a Facebook post thanking the community. “We’re so happy to bring you this news.”

For people in the city still looking to adopt pets, the shelter says officers are continuing to conduct rescues and new animals are expected to arrive daily. About 40 percent of the animals arriving at the shelter in general are surrendered by owners who can no longer keep them, according to the CACC.

“We have been amazed at the outpouring of people wanting to help during this time,” the post continued.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the shelter said it still had 51 dogs, six cats and two roosters that were not yet eligible for adoption due to a standard wait period, rabies observation and because some of them strayed away from their owners and are expected to return home.

“We'll probably have more again in the coming days,” the CACC wrote.

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The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. reached at least 379,965 Tuesday afternoon, with 12,021 of them fatal. There were 12,264 in Illinois, with 308 deaths.

Chicago’s stay-at-home order took effect March 21. There were at least 5,511 confirmed cases there on Tuesday, according to city officials.

With stay-at-home orders and nonessential businesses shut down around the country, other animal shelters have also reported a surge in adoptions.

Last month, an animal shelter in Colorado similarly adopted out all of its animals as residents hunkered down at home during a COVID-19-related shutdown there -- twice.

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The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (HSPPR) posted video of its empty Colorado Springs dog kennels to Facebook, showing rows of empty cages on Wednesday -- one day after it said it emptied out its Cat Adoption Center.