Pandemic Pals

Puppy adoptions skyrocket during quarantine


Andrew Koss, Staff Writer

Coronavirus. When most people hear that word a lot of things come to mind, and most of them are negative. Job loss, death, isolation, and toilet paper shortages. There is one positive thing that came from the pandemic however– free time. 

With everyone at home, American households saw this as the perfect opportunity to adopt a puppy. According to the Washington Post, many dog shelters were getting rid of puppies twice as fast as usual, and some even ran out of puppies. 

One Florida animal shelter in Palm Beach had a celebration amongst all of its employees when every last puppy was adopted out of their kennels. 

“Just the fact we can say we have one of our kennels empty (for the first time ever) is amazing,” spokeswoman Elizabeth Harfmann told her local news station.

Animal shelters saw an average of a 15 percent increase from 2019, with the Last Chance Animal Rescue in Maryland nearly doubling their 2020 adoption goal. When the pandemic hit in April, there was a 34 percent increase in adoption compared to the same time in the year prior. With everyone home, what better time to adopt?

This trend is not just seen in statistics, but also in the student life at Rochester High School. 

Senior Claire Tamer and her family adopted and trained a puppy over the course of the pandemic. They named the Shih Tzu puppy Ivy. The dog helped the family grow closer and got to grow up in a very loving environment with the whole family being home. 

“My puppy affected my family life by bringing us closer together to help take care of this puppy,” she said, “the motive to get this dog was to give us something to do and make us happy during this pandemic.”

Dogs require a lot of attention and care, especially during the first few years of their life, so for many people work can be a major deterrent to not adopt a pet. With this obstacle gone however, many households saw it as the perfect opportunity to expand their family. 

Senior Alyssa Hart also got a puppy over quarantine. They named the dog Firkins, and he is a lab pit mix. 

“My puppy brought my family closer together in order to help take care of him,” she said, “He has brought us a lot of joy into our household amidst a crazy year.”

Hart’s family saw the pandemic as the perfect opportunity to adopt since the whole family was home and they had lots of free time. 

“During the pandemic my whole family was home most of the time, which made it way easier to give him the attention he needed,” she said, “Quarantine was the perfect time to get our puppy since we could all help out.”

Despite this major upsurge in adoptions, there are still thousands of animals who are in need of loving homes. 

“The shelters are never, ever completely empty of animals,” John Welsh, the spokesman for Riverside County Animal Services Department in California, told USA today. 

2020 was an amazing year for pet adoptions, and allowed so many animals to find their forever homes. Although CoronaVirus brought many, many challenges, one positive outcome of the pandemic is all of the puppies that finally made their way out of the shelters.