While COVID-19 created great concern for shelters and adoption centers as volunteer availability plummeted, in an interesting turn of events, adoption rates have soared, up by 70% according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Shelters and breeders are now facing record lows in the number of pets, as they welcome a wave of applications as many look to welcome a new member into their home.
“I think people have more time on their hands and are looking for ways to do anything to help out in society in general,” math teacher David Garst said. “Spending time raising and loving an animal is a natural stress relief for people and I think that joy motivates lots of pet owners.”
Junior Ella Palffy had planned to adopt a dog during the summer, but decided to go ahead and adopt one recently due to quarantine providing the opportunity for her family to raise the dog together.
“I think people are getting a little stir crazy, or they are always at work and have never had time to raise a puppy,” Palffy said. “It gives people something new and exciting to do.”
Quarantine has seemed to create a seemingly ideal stay at home environment for especially puppies as their owners find themselves with plenty of time to care and train them. However, as Garst points out, the irregular abundance of time could prove a hindrance in the future.
“I have heard some dog trainers say that animals adopted during this Quarantine might become so used to everyone being home all day long that in the future they may struggle with being by themselves at home while the family is at work or school,” Garst said. “Our family has decided to have regular nap times for the puppy as we crate train him and we have times in our day when we all take a walk or a bike ride and leave the dog at home so that he can be used to being there by himself.”
It is also important for pet owners to keep in mind that while right now is a great opportunity for those looking to get a new pet, once quarantine ends, the responsibilities of taking care of a pet will continue.
“If it’s an impulse buy out of boredom, that’s not fair to the pet,” Palffy said. “Make sure you have a plan for how you’re going to care for the dog when you’re back at work and living a normal, busy life.”