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Local adoption center sees record breaking number of animals adopted amid coronavirus outbreak

Posted at 4:59 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 00:39:55-04

ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (NBC 26) -- Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary saw a record breaking number of adoptions last week. 27 cats and dogs found their forever homes.

"People have a little bit more time to spend with an animal, and you know, the animal can keep them company while they're unfortunately locked in their homes," said Amanda Reitz, the founder of HEA.

She said Happily Ever After is able to continue operating as an essential business, however, they have made some adjustments due to the pandemic.

"It's not just walk in and look at everybody. It's having a preapproved application and then kind of having and idea of who you want to see, so we can get them in the room and then sanitize everything after people leave and get ready for the next person to come in," added Reitz.

She said they are also having serious conversations with people interested in adoption during this time like plans for the animal in case the owner got sick as well as the financial commitment of adopting, knowing some people might be out of work.

"Just making sure they realize that when they do get them home, life is going to go back to normal, you know, whether it's two weeks or six weeks or two months or longer," added Reitz.

She said it's amazing to see what animal can do for people, and in return, what people can do for animals.

"Everybody is saving lives right now which is a super awesome thing because there's a lot of lives that still have yet to be saved," said Reitz.

The organization has had to change up some upcoming events due to coronavirus outbreak. Beer and Biscuits is now scheduled for July 24th.
On May 1 and May 2, HEA will be hosting Hour of Love. This will now be a virtual event.

If you aren't ready to adopt a new pet, you can still help HEA.

Marcus Reitz, the branding and development director for HEA, said the nonprofit relies on the community for supplies to help care for all the animals. People can make appointments to drop off items like food or blankets. People interested in donating are also able to go to HEA's website where they will find an Amazon Wishlist. Those are the products the organization is in need of. He said if items are out of stock, donors can send an Amazon gift card.

Click here to visit HEA's website.