Empty animal shelters one positive side effect of Covid-19


Volunteers at Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control celebrate in front of empty kennels after every dog was adopted.

Quarantine kitties and pandemic puppies. While the coronavirus pandemic has brought many hardships to the community, it has had some positive effects as well. One of those positive side effects has been the benefit to animal shelters.

With families being stuck at home for the better part of the day, more and more of them have turned to adopting pets. Animal shelters are usually full of animals looking for their forever homes, yet in the midst of this coronavirus lockdown, animal shelter cages are emptying at a very high rate. 

Before the quarantine, many people have felt that a dog would not fit into their family. One of the most common reasons given was that they do not have enough time, which would of course be unfair to the dog. They most certainly would not have time to raise a puppy. 

However, since the lockdown hit, families have paused their busy schedules, as activities have been suspended. In addition to this many people have been working from home. This means that over the past seven months, time has freed up in their busy schedules, and many people have found that a dog or cat makes a perfect addition. Group activities have been replaced with “take your dog for a walk” which is better for all involved. 

Bonnie, a staff member at Justin Bartlett Animal Rescue stated, “The amount of fosters and adoptions of both dogs and cats have gone up. We are seeing these animals be well trained and cared for over the quarantine. There have also been fewer surrenders.” 

Shelters around the country are having up to 10 to 13 dogs adopted per day. This may not seem like a lot, but in pre-coronavirus days, the average dog adoption rate was typically less than half of the current rate. 

Adopting and fostering is not only beneficial to the animals it also is good for one’s mental wellbeing. There are few better ways for a person to boost their mood than playing outside with a dog or watching their cat give attitude in the way only cats can. 

At a time where kids are barred from seeing their friends, adopting a pet can be a lifesaver for them, as well as their parents. Playtime with the new puppy or dog gives an outlet for kids to release their pent-up energy. It also helps to teach them the responsibility of caring for a living thing. People of all ages are even finding that a Netflix binge is way better with a furry friend by their side. 

In addition, if a puppy adopted at the start of the quarantine, by now it is old enough to be mostly, if not fully trained. This perfect timing because in most places, kids are starting to go back to school. This means that the masses that came to the realization that they needed an animal in their life, have now adjusted to their new lives. And there is still time to get a very own quarantine kitty or pandemic puppy as the pandemic is still ongoing and there are always more dogs and cats that can use a home.

The following local shelters are ready if you are.



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