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Demand for pets levels off as workers return to offices, says Greater Victoria rescue founder

During the early months of the pandemic, requests for dogs and cats shot up

Jesse Adams figures it’s his mom’s influence that has him helping find new homes for cats and dogs.

His mother worked for the provincial government for nearly five decades in the wildlife field – it was her passion, pets are his.

Adams, who grew up in Oak Bay and is the founder of the RainCoast Dog Rescue Society, rehomes dogs and cats from the Island, the nation and the world. The organization also aims to educate.

He founded the non-profit in 2014 after leaving the board of directors of another animal rescue organization on Vancouver Island. He left behind being a firefighter and carpenter to follow that passion.

“It’s rare to follow what you really, truly love to do in your life,” he said.

All donations, adoption fees, fundraiser earnings and merchandise sales go directly towards rescuing more dogs and cats, and caring for those not yet adopted out. RainCoast is volunteer based and does not take any money for personal profit.

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During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the request for animals shot up, Adams said. RainCoast went from receiving 200 to 300 applications a month to more than 1,200.

Between business closures, people working from home and border issues, rescue organizations couldn’t keep up. With people returning to work and school, demand is starting to level off, he said.

“It’s still busy, but it’s not like that surge we saw that was unheard of.”

RainCoast grew to five key volunteers and there are a handful of others they couldn’t work without, he said.

Since its inception, RainCoast has adopted out more than 2,000 dogs and around 150 cats – the felines were added to the workload in the last year. They work with animals locally and around the world.

In 2019 Adams went solo to Africa to help get two dogs that U.S. military members had befriended in Yemen while on deployment. A team worked to get the dogs to Djibouti and Adams helped bring them back to North America where they were adopted.

“We’re just here to help animals, everything else is just politics,” he said. “If it’s suffering and it needs help and I have the ability to do that, I don’t care where it comes from.”

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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