Utah Cats, Dogs Up For Adoption Finding Homes At Record Rate

Dec 30, 2020, 6:38 PM | Updated: 10:07 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – 2020 has been full of heartache, but there’s a silver lining for unwanted pets. Cats and dogs up for adoption are finding homes in Utah now more than ever before.

There’s been no shortage of cats at the Casteel home in Salt Lake City.

“Salsa and Dip. Apple butter,” said 8-year-old Aria Casteel. “Jean, Janet and Dawn, Jade, Aloe and Sunburst.”

Candace Casteel said her family has fostered 15 cats and one dog since March.

“Max was our only foster dog, and he was very annoying,” said Aria.

Aria and her younger sister, Zoe, love playing with them.

“They sing them lullabies and snuggle them in their shirts or blankets,” said Candace.

COVID-19 has been a boon for unwanted pets. Utahns have stepped up to foster and adopt in record numbers.

“Working from home and having a foster pet or a newly adopted pet, people realize that animals sleep most of the day,” laughed Temma Martin, spokesperson for Best Friends Animal Society. “They really don’t need that much.”

At Best Friends alone, nearly 5,000 animals have been placed in foster homes this year. That’s 2,000 more than last year, and 3,050 pets found forever homes in 2020 at the animal sanctuary, compared to 2,514 last year.

Shelters have adapted to COVID-19 by doing virtual visits with prospective pet parents. They found that animals show better in a home where they’re calm and relaxed.

“They’re able to share an animal’s likes and dislikes, their quirks, how they get along with other animals, how they get along with family members,” Temma said.

Possibly changing the roll of animal shelters forever. It could make them less a brick and mortar holding space and more a virtual hub for connecting animals to forever homes.

“Now we know the community is there to help,” Martin said. “They want to foster, they want to adopt.”

The Casteels are currently fostering a cat named Holly Berry, who they’ve had for four weeks.

“She’s really shy and so we’re trying to work on that,” Candace said.

The mother of two said caring for her and all the others is gratifying.

“Knowing that they’re good to go with a family forever is kind of a good feeling, just to know that you helped out in getting them on their way.”

Utah is now closer to becoming a no-kill state, meaning 10% or fewer of shelter animals are euthanized. The state would be only the second in the nation to achieve that distinction.

For those who would like to foster or adopt an animal in need with Best Friends, visit the organization’s website and click “Get Involved.”

If you’d like to help other shelters and groups throughout the state, go to NoKillUtah for a list of 62 NKUT coalition partners. You can also check in with your local shelters.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


Katija Stjepovic

Utah arts and cultural jobs are surging after COVID pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic pulled the curtains on most of Utah's arts and cultural jobs, but after nearly three years, they are reemerging. 
2 days ago
Ashley Moser

Flu, COVID and RSV all trending down for the first time in months, says CDC

Major respiratory illnesses are all trending down for the first time since September, according to the CDC.
16 days ago
FILE PHOTO (Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)...
Josh Ellis

Utah doctor, others charged with running COVID vaccine scheme, issuing fake records and giving fake shots

A Utah plastic surgeon, his medical corporation and three others have been charged after prosecutors say they issued fake COVID-19 vaccination record cards and injected minors with saline shots.
22 days ago
Dr. Angela Dunn, executive director of Salt Lake County Health Department, left, discusses schoolch...
Michael Houck

Salt Lake County ends its COVID-19 emergency status

After nearly three years, the Salt Lake County Health Department ended its COVID emergency status Tuesday. 
1 month ago
FILE: People line up in their cars as members of the Utah National Guard give COVID-19 swab tests a...
Eliza Pace

Gov. Cox, along with 24 other governors, call on President Biden to end Federal Public Health Emergency

Gov. Spencer Cox signed a letter with 24 other governors calling on President Joe Biden to end the federal public health emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic.
2 months ago
U.S. President Joe Biden welcomes guests to the East Room of the White House on December 14, 2022 i...
ZEKE MILLER, AP White House Correspondent

White House reveals winter COVID-19 plans, more free tests

The Biden administration is again making some free COVID-19 tests available to all U.S. households as it unveils its contingency plans for potential coronavirus surges this winter.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Utah Cats, Dogs Up For Adoption Finding Homes At Record Rate