Pet Adoption In Lockdown

Pet adoption rates at an all-time high amidst lockdowns.


Charlotte Pence

Sitting at home all day or being quarantined with family can be lonely or frustrating. People sit at home all day and eventually grow bored and wonder “What are we missing?”. Well, the answer for many people this far has apparently been pet adoptions.

As stay at home restrictions grew tighter, many people turned to humane societies and dog breeders in order to adopt and train animals as a type of quarantine project of sorts, or a way to bring a new interesting dynamic to family life.

While many see that as a great opportunity for homing the many stray animals in the US, many experts have criticized the effects this will have in the future, and some adoption agencies have even closed their doors to applicants as a result of worry for the animal’s lives as the country opens back up.

Currently, as many people work or do schooling online, they feel that they have the time to adopt and take care of an animal, but this may prove to be short lived, and will result in harm to the newly adopted animals. As people return to their old routines, these dogs will have to adjust to life alone once again.

Now, some may say that the animals will have been trained by the time lockdowns are ended, but this is also a matter of mental health. Many dogs in animal shelters are traumatized and need lots of emotional support and constant training in order to be at ease and healthy. This can be provided by new owners in the short-term, but may become a nuisance to owners as stress from school and work weigh on their mental health. And as many dog experts say, the animal is only relaxed when the owner is relaxed. So in the next few months as tensions rise, shelters fear an increase in owners turning in their dogs for misbehaving.

In fact, the Tacoma Humane Society in Tacoma, Washington reported that they adopted out 337 pets in March, which was a record high. The same shelter ended up having to close their application box after receiving over 1000 applications to adopt pets, which the shelter claims is like nothing they’ve ever seen before.

According to one ASPCA spokesperson, over 1,500 applicants filed for pet adoption in New York and LA, which was around a 500% increase from “Traditional numbers.”

Some shelters across the nation have even run out of animals to adopt out, and are hoping that this spring and summer will bring new kittens and puppies to meet such a high demand.

Many shelters are elated to have adopted so many animals out, as this takes financial strain off of the shelters in terms of resources for the animals, but many are wondering how long this will last before people realize that having a pet is a lot more permanent than a whimsical quarantine project. How will these animals be affected once life returns to normal and their owners are now longer there for their every need? And how will this affect the number of homeless pets in months to come?