Thousands of folks all over the U.S., forced to stay home from work for an extended period of time because of the coronovirus, are inviting shelter pets into their homes through adoption or fostering, according to news reports.
Many people are wary of having pets when, because of work and/or school schedules, no one is at home to train or care for them. That's certainly a legitimate reason for not adopting. But now that a majority of workers are sheltering at home and schools are closed, there is no better time to adopt. You will have plenty of time to train, play, and bond with a new pet. And, if it's a dog, you'll have company on the long walks you've been resisting because you don't want to take them alone.
"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself,"
said humorist Josh Billings.
Whether you adopt or foster a pet, you'll be providing a much needed service not only to the pet but to animal rescue and shelter services during this pandemic, as many shelters have had to, at least partially, close down to comply with state orders.
The Humane Society put this YouTube video out to encourage pet adoption during these times.
By adopting a pet, you will doubtless get more in return than you give. The psychological benefits of having a pet are numerous. Dogs and cats live in the present and interacting with them brings you into the present too. Introducing them to your home and your family, creating special spaces for them, interacting with them through play and training, and giving them the love and attention that's been missing from their lives is very fulfilling in itself, but the love you will get in return makes every effort you make look minor in comparison.
If two animals are inseparable in the shelter, you might consider bringing home both as your pets. (image via)
Just so you don't adopt the wrong kind of pet for yourself or your family. Most local adoption agencies will interview you and make suggestions to you based on your family's habits and living situations. There are also many quizzes you can take online like Meet Your Match that really help narrow down the kind of dog or cat that is best for your home.
In my years of pet ownership, I have adopted both a cat and a dog at different times, and I have to admit that their loving appreciation shows itself in many ways every day.
“There are two means of refuge from the misery of life — music and cats,”
wrote theologian Albert Schweitzer.
For those who can't afford to adopt a pet right now, there are some food banks that carry pet food. In addition, there are programs like Pets For Life, administered by the Humane Society, that provide pet food and other support for families that cannot afford to keep their pets during crisis times. (See this video!) And there are some resources to help you pay emergency medical bills for your pet. (Find them here.)
And, please note the following image!
Before you bring your new pet home, make sure you have a special room or crate available for her - a bed, appropriate food, healthy treats, food and water bowls, a harness and leash, and a few toys appropriate to your pet's age and size. You will find many of these items reviewed right here on PetsLady.com. We have been reviewing and posting blogs on pet items for 14 years, so we've covered just about everything you will need or want for your new pet. Just use the search tool at the top right hand side of the page.