We are living through such an uncertain and unprecedented time in history that none of us were even prepared for. Things we somewhat took for granted like heading into the office for work or running to the grocery store to pick up something for dinner are no longer an easy reality. Nonetheless, is such a time of a change and pandemic, we are scared, isolated, unsure, and anxious, at a minimum. During times like this, it’s easy to see the worst in the world.
One very unexpected upside of the pandemic and our current virtual world and socially distanced life is that animal shelters around the US are clearing out, completely.
There are the exact same shelters that not too long ago, were desperately struggling to get their animals fostered and into welcoming homes and pet owners. Waitlists for foster animals across the US have been reported to be anywhere from 1,000 - 2,000 names. Whoa.
Animal shelters have been considered an essential business, with employees, decked out in personal protective equipment while they continue to work hard and long hours for the pets in their care. With this being said, shelters are still concerned about the well-being of their employees, which is why there has been a huge encouragement for individuals to foster. Fortunately enough, people are stepping up and adopting!
Even with a major spike in fostering and adoptions increasing, shelters are still very much in need. For the safety of employees, these shelters need to operate with a crew at all times. So, as you can guess, this is nearly impossible if the shelters are operating at full capacity. In addition to this, many shelters rely on donations to stay open, and as common as it is in an economic downfall, donations have slowed in the last few months.
Of course, animal shelters have been able to adapt to these new challenges with promise. In usual times, when it comes to adopting an animal, individuals would go visit a shelter and meet all the animals. However, during this pandemic, many shelters are hosting virtual adoptions and having people pick up their furry friends curbside.
For those who aren’t quite ready to commit to years of pet parenting responsibilities, fostering is a great alternative avenue! Finding a temporary home is still a great experience for these animals because fostering generally leads to increases in adoption. If the trend continues to hold promise, many of these animals may find their forever home, in the midst of all this uncertain, continuously changing craziness.
Amidst this crazy time, why adopt a pet now? During this craziness?! Why? In order to better understand this, we talked to some new paw parents and asked them why they decided to bring home a four-legged friend during COVID-19.
Many individuals quickly had to adjust to a work from home life, in an instant. With that transition, for most, became more time at home and more opportunity for new things.
Whether a new pet parent just decided on trying to be a dog owner, went through a massive break up as the pandemic hit, or had been thinking about adopting for a while, this work from home life really inspired people.
While most days are still super busy with Zoom calls and continuous online meetings, paw parents are finding that they have a little more free time to cuddle with a pup or play fetch between calls. Some would call it a silver lining?
Our mental health has definitely been challenged, at least once or twice, during this pandemic. If I’m only speaking for myself, that’s fine, but I’m sure many of you can agree that the anxiousness and uncertainty of the world has had you questioning things once or twice.
Bring a new pet home in the midst of this chaos doesn’t seem like such a bad idea - infinite cuddles, playtime, puppy breathe, the cuteness being almost unbearable!
With human interaction being at an all-time low with social distancing, it’s not a surprise that most people are struggling with loneliness. Hence, a cute new pet can help comfort and maybe even distract you from the current dark events. These paw friends may be giving their pet owners more than just something to focus on.
Working full-time may not leave much time for you to relax, rest, and take care of a newly adopted pup. However, getting a pup may actually help you get into a routine and schedule with them in mind too!
Morning walks, potty training, meal times, and not to forget play times are great ways you can create some much-needed space in your crazy work from home schedule. Your pup’s needs are important and maybe the time to take care of them will help you unwind or step away from the computer every couple of hours.
The structure of having a dog can help maintain some sort of balance during this pandemic. It may even help give you a sense of purpose and normalcy during this time, especially if you start to really bond with your furry friend.
Fostering and adopting animals is a great way to not only give back, but there are also a ton of benefits for you and your mental health as well!
Loneliness, anxiousness, and isolation can be extremely harmful to your health - physically, mentally, and emotionally. In particular, studies have suggested that it can even lead to an early onset of disease or even death. Fortunately enough, interacting with animals can help with lowering your heart rate and blood pressure, and may even help increase your “feel-good” hormones, such as oxytocin and dopamine. All in all, four-legged friends make us feel good, warm, welcomed, and healthy. I’d call that a win in my book.
If you’re having a hard time adjusting to this going on 8-month new normal but may not be able to adopt a pet, check out CertaPet to see if you qualify for an Emotional Support Animal (ESA). As an ESA owner, you are able to bring a pet into your home regardless of your apartment or housing restrictions. Check out their website above!
Bringing a new pet into your home is a major responsibility and life decision. Caring for a new furry friend generally involves puppy training, waking up early, cleaning up messes, throwing out some chewed up remotes, daily walks, and potty training. But, nonetheless, if you’re feeling a little down in the gutter, are working from home, and may have an inclination towards cute, furry animals, adopting or fostering a pet may be a wonderful option for you (& your mental health). All you have to do is head to the internet, find some local shelters in your area, and reach out!