Pandemic Pups

Good news during the lockdowns and disappointments sounds nearly impossible but not for pet stores, breeders, and shelters. Out of loneliness or boredom, adopting a new pet has become one of the favorite quarantine pastimes. A few students from HCS have adopted a new pet to love, and share about the experience.

2020 was a record year in pet adoptions. With shelters running out of pets and breeders low on stock, it’s a happy time for animals finding their new forever homes. In an article from USA Today a nonprofit organization collecting data from animal shelters, Shelters Animal Count, reports that the adoption rate is up by 73% which is 64% higher than 2019. In addition to this, many puppies, that started as fosters, were adopted by their foster homes because people just can’t help but get attached. For instance, Animal Care Centers in NYC  observed that at the beginning of the pandemic 25% of people who took in temporary foster dogs had adopted the dogs by late June. Both intake and euthanasia are down as well. With the sad reality of euthanasia in pounds, the pandemic has brought it down 43% . 

It is no wonder as to why the pet sales have skyrocketed, with the immense happiness and benefits having a pet provides. As said by the CDC, owning a pet has actual health benefits such as decreased blood pressure, lowered cholesterol levels, decreased levels of triglycerides, reduced feelings of loneliness, increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities, and improved opportunities for social connection. Of course all of these things contribute to bettering mental health in a mental health crisis that COVID-19 has caused. Mental health officials have shared that just simply petting an animal can provide sensory-based therapy that comforts and calms. 

A few questions were asked to fellow students, Claire Mills ‘22 and Cahtrina Hurst ‘21, who adopted dogs during the pandemic. 

Mills responded to the questions: 

Q. What’s the name and breed of your pet? 

A.Her name is Tinkerbell. She is an Australian Shepherd. 

Q. Why did you choose to get her at this time? 

A.My dad saw an ad for her online, but we did not want to get a puppy because we had gotten one a year prior. Tink was already about half a year old. She was in L.A. and was going to be flown to Idaho 2 days later. We picked her up the day she would have flown to Idaho. We believe that it was God’s plan because her owners were Christians and the timing was perfect. We were in the pandemic at this point so we had time to take on another dog, as well. 

Q. How long have you had her? How has life been with your new pet?

A. We got her in March so we have had her for 11 months. It has been great having her. She is pretty big, but she thinks she is a lap dog, so she always sits with my family when we watch TV. She has become a great companion and playmate for my other dog Finn. 

Hurst responded to these questions: 

Q. What’s the name and breed of your pet? 

A. Her name is Maisel and she is a Great Pyrenees! 

Q. Why did you choose to get her at this time? 

A.We have been looking for a dog for a while. So when we discovered her, we decided to get her. 

Q. How long have you had her? How has life been with your new pet?

A. We have only had her since Tuesday [January 12, 2020]. My family  all loves Maisel so much, she is such a

character. 

Consider adopting a pet like many others to bring more joy and love into life through a pandemic. 

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