When looking for a pet, a duck may not be the obvious choice, but according to the Windsor/Essex County Humane Society, they tend to get adopted quickly when they turn up at the shelter.
Executive director Melanie Coulter said the organization had three separate groups of ducks arrive recently — nine ducks in total — but all of the birds have since been adopted.
The organization had posted about duck adoptions on Facebook, featuring a friendly-looking fellow named Wallace.
It's not uncommon for domestic ducks — which look different than the wild ones — to arrive at the shelter, she said.
"A lot of people think they're going to be very hard to adopt, but the reality is whenever we post them on social media we're flooded with interest of people adopting, especially hens — roosters are a little bit harder — but for sure hens and ducks tend to get adopted really, really quickly."
Since then, the ducks were adopted to two homes in Essex County.
They can't be adopted in the city due to bylaws, Coulter said, adding that anyone who adopts a duck needs to check to see if they are permitted where they live.
Demand still high for adoptions
The pandemic sparked a massive demand for pet adoptions across the country, and the trend is still playing out in Windsor-Essex.
Right from the start of the pandemic, there was increased interest in the animals, Coulter said.
"Most of our dogs that go up for adoption get adopted within hours," she said.
Even animals that might have previously take longer to find homes — such as adult or senior cats — might take days instead of weeks to find their forever homes.
And despite concern over what happens to all of those animals after everyone returns to work physically, so far the Humane Society's return rate is actually lower now than it was before COVID-19 hit, according to Coulter, who said that other shelters are similarly not seeing an increase in animals being brought back.
"These animals are staying in homes and it's a great to be able to see them find home so quickly," she said.
That's not to say shelters don't have any concerns related to the effects of the pandemic. Coulter said shelters are watching out to see whether dogs that didn't get a chance to be properly socialized as puppies start to show up, as well as the effects of challenges in accessing veterinary care.
The Humane Society is also seeing people having difficulty feeding their pets amid the pandemic, and donations to its pet food bank are lower, Coulter said, adding that the organization is doing a food drive this weekend.