Pandemic Pets

Abby Grabowski

The pandemic’s effects have reached far and wide, impacting not only us humans, but also our furry friends. Across the nation, rescues and pet breeders have seen increased interest in animals. Many individuals and families have turned to pet adoption in the midst of the pandemic thanks to additional time on their hands and in search of some added joy.  

Secondhand Hounds, a Minnesota-based nonprofit rescue, wrote: “We have seen a huge uptick in people wanting to adopt pets. Before, animals would be on our website for days or weeks, and now they are often taken off within hours. Our adoptions grew by 16% in 2020 and are keeping that pace for 2021.” Many Southwest students have been among the families taking the pandemic as a time to welcome a new member to their family. 

One Southwest student explained, “It has been so nice to have company while doing school online.” The pandemic has halted the world in more ways than we can count, but in some ways it has helped us slow down, giving us time to appreciate what we have.

With more individuals and families both adopting and stepping forward to foster pets (with decreased intake as well), Shelter Animals Count reported that between January and June of 2020, shelter euthanasia was down 43%. Secondhand Hounds also has reported that, “So far our surrenders have not increased, which is good to see.” 

The increase in people opening their homes to animals in the last year has affected so many, with adoption centers and families providing support for one another in such a time of need. Many hope to see the trends in adoption and fostering continue beyond 2021 and the Covid-19 pandemic.