According to Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, in some cities, the rates of fostering have increased by 90%. This surge is largely due to the quarantine; many people feel a sense of responsibility to make their home environment one of love and compassion.
Pets are great sources and testaments of the will to love. By owning a pet, a home environment comes together and bonds over the little furry animal. As it takes a village to raise a child, so it does with an animal.
This quarantine has made everyone around the world focus on our daily routine. As those in some industries are able to work from home, they are able to prioritize family and work obligations. As a result, most families are learning how to navigate the circumstances of these times together.
Often though, a family reflects on what they are missing. Sometimes, that means looking at past traumas and losses alongside the current landscape of the coronavirus. It means a close reading of what their hearts really want -- and what is being shown today is that most families feel that they are missing another being in their lives.
We are creatures of habit but also creatures of love; so it isn't that unthinkable that about 90% of Americans are purchasing a pet for their families or themselves. In fact, my family adopted a small, eight-week-old puppy and named him Gustavo. We take turns watching him, teaching him how to play with his older brother, and potty-training him.
Our puppy brings out the best in us - which I'm certain other new pet owners feel when taking care of their new fur babies. A pet also strengthens the emotional bond of a family; as families come together to raise a happy, plump animal, they bond over their cute moments and discuss how to best train/play with them.
To hear that the animal shelters are empty then is the best news ever.
It displays where the human condition is at the moment; although we are struggling, we are looking for comfort in the people, animals, and things in our lives. It isn't a materialistic nor possessive perspective but a self-evaluation. It helps us understand where we stand in relation to the coronavirus and how we can cope with these weird times.
CNBC reported that although this is ultimately good news, other issues will sprout and test animal rescues throughout the nation. Concerns such as spaying, neutering, and vaccines will become difficult with the current restrictions. The vetting process to bring in new animals as well would put animal shelters in a stressful situation. Only operations medically necessary will be performed.
However, medical appointments for newly adopted animals are still ongoing, but with respect to social distance guidelines.
With Gustavo, my family has still been able to take him to the veterinarian. At Banfield Pet Hospital Altamonte Springs, we drop him off from our car; a staff member then takes him inside, completes the appointment, and returns him to us all without us stepping inside to wait.
With "kitten season" beginning in April though, animal shelters may have to deal with overbreeding. Here's hoping that if adoption rates remain high even after the pandemic is over, shelters can once again become a safe place for new intakes.