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Pets Provide Companionship. Consider Adopting a Pet Who Needs You

May 8, 2020

Recent news reports featured rows of empty kennels at animal shelters, telling of more happy endings for homeless animals. Adoptions have definitely increased while homebound Americans seek pets to help them deal with isolation and stress.

Pictured here is rescue dog Charcoal (now named Coal) who was recently adopted from Loving All Animals by CeCe Campbell and Janet Hardie. While you can’t see the women’s smiles behind their masks, Charcoal beamed joyfully at getting his second “second chance” home.

Campbell was the good samaritan who first found this pup running loose in the streets. The couple brought him to Loving All Animals, as they already had one dog and Hardie was still working full time. Charcoal was eventually adopted by another family, but sadly returned. Campbell often thought about the little guy, wondering if he might become available again; periodically, she checked Petfinder. It was serendipity when one day she saw him and immediately called to adopt. Hardie was now retired, and their 8-year-old dog, Sugar, was thrilled. Campbell reports, “Having a second dog keeps us all more active. It brings us renewed happiness to see how happy and active Sugar has become with a playmate. The four of us take more walks and have more playtime.”

“During this difficult time, Loving All Animals is managing to still find homes for dog lovers,” says Tracy Habijanac, one of the organization’s managers. “We have people with time on their hands, and it couldn’t be a better time to care for and love a pet. This is the perfect time to acclimate the doggies to their new environment before people go back to work.”

In these dark times of uncertainty, millions of people need relief from anxiety, depression and loneliness. At the same time, we have millions of homeless pets languishing in shelters. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates approximately 3 million animals are euthanized in public shelters every year. Other homeless animals, abandoned or lost, roam our neighborhoods hungry and alone. These two separate problems, humans in need of companionship and comfort, and millions of animals in need of homes, can help ease the other.

Science has now proven what we animal lovers knew all along: Many studies indicate that the companionship of dogs and cats can lower blood pressure, reduce stress and improve both our mental and physical health.

Pets help us to stay in the present moment and push out invasive worries from our minds. Organizations such as Dogs for the Brave rescue dogs from shelters and train them as service dogs to help military veterans with PTSD, traumatic brain injury or military sexual trauma. Other service dogs alert their humans when they detect changes in the human body prior to an epileptic seizure. Heart attack patients with a cat or dog have a longer survival rate. Service dogs help people with chronic anxiety, enabling them to travel to work and stay calm.

Many of us have experienced the relaxing contentment that comes from having a purring cat sit on our laps. Now scientists have discovered one reason why cats keep us healthy and happy. Cats create purr vibrations with a range of 20 to 40 Hz, which is medically therapeutic for many illnesses. Their purring lowers stress, reduces the chance of heart attacks and reduces the symptoms of dyspnea, according to the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Neurology. Their playful antics and loving companionship provide respite from loneliness, depression and other psychological ailments.

Now is a great time to consider adopting a new furry family member. A comprehensive website promoting rescue pet adoption (petfinder.com) helps you find the specific type of pet you seek. Did you know that 25% of the animals in shelters are pure breeds?

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