Adoptions During Coronavirus
May 11, 2020
The phones started ringing, and emails came pouring in, at shelters for abandoned dogs and cats around the region in mid-March. The inquires have been coming ever since, as families and single people stuck at home decide the time is right to welcome a furry friend into their lives.
It’s one of the more unexpected turn of events in the coronavirus era, animal shelters have been placing dogs and cats in new homes at an unprecedented rate.
“There’s been a major increase in interest,” said Samara Enders, a shelter spokeswoman. “It started right when all the social distancing started to happen, when people were at home, looking for something to do. Having a dog gives them something to do, and it helps out a shelter dog in need.”
“The people seem to be happy, and the dogs are happy, too,” Enders said. “Quality time with dogs is good for mental health.”
Del Guercio, who also works with new pet owners to facilitate the new addition to the family, says dogs have plenty to offer during the shelter-in-place setting.
“It’s such an amazing bonding experience,” she said. “Dogs offer comfort, they also offer responsibility, for families especially with children right now. They’re all therapy dogs. They give a sense of structure when everything is chaotic. It’s a learning experience — I give the kids a task to do, training commands. Getting kids involved in that, it’s educational, and they feel like they have some control in a world that’s out of control. It builds self-confidence and engagement.”