December 1, 2023

As Americans who were at home waited for the coronavirus pandemic last year, people increasingly turned to animal shelters and adopted dogs and cats as lockdown companions.

Although lockdowns have subsided and the country has reopened, adoption rates have largely held up, according to Sumit Singh, CEO of Chewy.

“We believe that adoptions are total [are] Up double-digit percentages in both dogs and cats year on year, “he told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Thursday.

In addition, it doesn’t look like pets are being returned to shelters in increased numbers, said Singh, who appeared for an interview with Mad Money. Chewy, a $ 33 billion online store selling pet food and supplies, launched a pet adoption service last month and is currently working with 6,000 animal shelters, he noted.

“The number of animals returning to shelters is actually the rate we saw in 2019, which would actually mean that when you weigh up new adoptions and returning pets, there are still many more pets being adopted right now, and that’s great for the industry. “

Although Singh didn’t cite statistics, online searches for pets remain high and the pet owner market has expanded significantly, according to research by Piper Sandler. The company reports that searches for terms like “pet finder” and “puppy for sale” have increased on a two-year basis, although they began to decline in April.

According to the American Pet Products Association, the pet industry had sales of $ 103.6 billion in 2020. It is the first time that annual sales have surpassed the $ 100 billion mark, the trading group announced in March. The association predicts that number will grow nearly 6% in 2021, which would exceed the historical average of around 3%.

After closing on Thursday, Chewy released the results for the first fiscal quarter, which ended on May 2nd. The company’s revenue increased 31.7% to $ 2.14 billion from $ 1.62 billion a year ago. The results exceeded Wall Street estimates on the upper and lower ranges.

Shares rose 2% during Thursday’s session to close at $ 79.35. In after-hours trading, the share lost more than 1%.