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People getting pets during stressful time

April 6, 2020

If you think you’ve been noticing more puppies in your Facebook feed these days, you aren’t imagining things.

While a pandemic spreads across the country, families are reflecting on their time spent social distancing as a prime time to get a dog.

Ingrid Glessner of Cedar Rapids and her family — including her husband and three kids — just added Tonks, a 9-week-old Goldendoodle, to their crew.

“We bought our girl from Kimberlee’s Kennels and they were amazing to work with, not to mention they delivered her, keeping us at home during this quarantine situation.”

Glessner said their family had been considering getting a dog at some point, but the current state of the world encouraged them to move forward now.

“We were definitely motivated by the extra time at home and also by our kids, who we knew would benefit from a calming anchor right now, like a sweet pup.”

That extra time is a motivator many.

Taylor Trimble and her boyfriend, Nate Lux, just added Blitz, an 11-week-old German shepherd, to their lives. The couple lives in Omaha but has currently returned to Eastern Iowa — where they are both originally from — so they aren’t quarantined in an apartment complex.

“Nate and I planned on getting a puppy this summer. He is a graduate student and I am a middle school teacher, so summer is an ideal time to get a puppy and be able to potty train and spend lots of time together,” she said. “But when our schools shut down for the foreseeable future, we jumped on the opportunity to add a few months to that training period.”

New puppies definitely take plenty of training, but owners are finding those responsibilities as worthy distractions.

“I am awful at being bored so having the many added responsibilities of a new puppy has been a welcome task,” said Trimble. “Luckily Blitz enjoys multiple walks a day, lots of playtime, and snuggling up for a nap together. Even though I still have responsibilities at my job to facilitate e-learning for my students and Nate still has his full-course load (just online now), there are certainly many free hours to spend playing and training Blitz. Now is a wonderful time to get a dog. You’re never going to be more present (in mind and body) than now, so use this time to learn good behaviors and build a strong relationship with a new pet.”

“Now is a great time to bond with your new pet. Extra time at home is the perfect time to work on establishing a schedule, potty training (if necessary), learning new tricks and giving them a lot of love. These animals are so grateful to be part of a new family, especially those that have been previously abandoned.”

Lane said they are seeing a bit of a decrease in adoptions at the humane society.

“It is a challenge to get animals adopted when people are being asked to practice social distancing,” she said. “On a normal day, people come into the shelter to visit with the animals, which allows them to see their personalities up close. Unfortunately during this time they are not able to do that. However, we are featuring animals that are available for adoption on our social media pages and website.”

She said the humane society wants to balance being responsible in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 while still maintaining their mission.

While now closed to the public, Lane said adoptions are still possible.

“There are animals in our care that are waiting to find their forever home and until they do, we will continue to care for them,” she said. “There are animals that require medication on a daily basis and we will continue to provide it until they are adopted. Unfortunately, these animals will likely wait longer to find their forever home, which increases our cost in caring for them. Yes, we have had to change our process during this unusual time, but we are committed to finding each animal a loving and caring home.”

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