Sign In

Finding Pets Homes

June 1, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic goes on, even with the statewide Stay at Home order lifted, people are bored at home.

This boredom has spurred families across the country to adopt more pets. This rings true locally as well.

Elaine Berger, executive administrative assistant and adoption coordinator at Woof Gang Rescue based in Racine, said the organization has completed 272 adoptions since March 1. Last year, the organization had about 200 during the same time frame.

For others, the boredom has extended even to their pets. Union Grove Village Administrator Michael Hawes just adopted a dog to keep his other dog Reggie, a 1-year-old Pitbull mix, company.

Hawes’ wife, Jacki, is staying at home, Hawes is working from home and the couple has been tending to their 3-month old son. And Reggie was getting bored.

“Reggie is coming to realize that we’re not really as fun people as he thought we were, so adding another four-legged friend to the family that can keep him occupied is probably a good idea,” Hawes said.

The couple also has a 12-year-old cat named Max. In addition, Jacki is a professional horse trainer and owns a 14-year-old horse named Lia.

Woof Gang Rescue representatives came over on May 13 to the Haweses’ home for a socially distanced meet-and-greet, the only kind of meeting Woof Gang is currently conducting. It is classified as an essential business and representatives are taking precautions to ensure the safety of fosters and adopters.

Shortly after, a 7-month-old Labrador-mix, joined the Hawes family. They named her Marley. She’s proven to be calm and has learned how to tire out Reggie.

“(With our new baby), hopefully this isn’t too much, but so far she’s a really good dog. She’s very sweet and she’s a good complement to Reggie’s very energetic personality,” Hawes said.

Jodie Hoffmann-Ruffalo, executive director of Woof Gang Rescue, said there has been a big influx in people willing to foster a pet. Currently, there are about 250 foster homes associated with Woof Gang.

Hoffmann-Ruffalo said more people are fostering and adopting probably because they have more time on their hands to work with animals. Especially for families with kids, people are bored at home, she said.
“Everybody and their brother signed up to foster, which is freaking amazing that people are opening up their homes,” she said. “I just hope it’s not like the toilet paper. Some people starting wanting one, everybody wanted one and then they ran out. I hope it’s not just a fad; I hope people are really, really realizing the long-term commitment of getting a pet.”

The organization has worked to make sure recent adopters know their adoption is permanent and not just during the times of social distancing and boredom. Hoffmann-Ruffalo hopes other adoption agencies are doing the same.

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Former Victoria man’s diabetic alert dog helps him get back to life

    When Luke Hengen’s diabetes worsened in his early twenties, it stripped him of the outdoor activities where the country kid felt at home. Countless wilderness adventures and years of hard-fought football games took a toll on his body, to the point where he could no longer sense when his blood sugar was too high or […]

    Read more

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more