What Experts Fear about the Surge of Pet Adoptions during the Pandemic

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Since March 2020, shelters and animal rescue groups have seen an increase in pet adoptions. People are adopting dogs and cats right and left. Some shelters even ended up having empty cages. Pets getting adopted may seem like wonderful news. But many animal rescues are preparing themselves for the worst after the crisis.

Why More People Are Adopting Pets

After lockdowns were announced and sheltering in place was recommended, many households turned to pet adoption. As more people are stuck indoors, they look for other ways to keep themselves busy and engaged. Many found having a pet to be a great distraction during the pandemic.

With pets to take care of, one will have less time to worry about the outbreak. This is since pets can serve as great companions you can talk to and play with. Pets can give you a sense of responsibility and give you another reason to stay at home.

Pets can be your best stress reliever, especially during these challenging times. They will make you adopt a daily routine and build a structure to your day. They can provide you with a strong sense of purpose since you now have another life to care for,

When you have a pet like a dog that requires regular walks and runs, you will be forced to get up and keep moving. This provides opportunities to engage in regular exercise. They can give you more reasons to take regular walks to the park and play in your backyard.

Pets can also be your go-to source for mental stimulation. They can take your mind off your stressors and encourage you to look at things from another perspective. You can even fight anxiety and depression with a furry buddy at your side.

Why Many Pets Are Abandoned Mid-pandemic

Despite the surge in pet adoptions, animal rescuers fear that many pets, especially cats and dogs, will be abandoned even before the pandemic ceases to exist. In Malaysia alone, many pets were left homeless after their owners left them in the streets. The same problem can be seen in other parts of the world.

Animal rescues fear more pets will be abandoned during the crisis. While pet adoptions increased, many pet owners are also leaving behind their pets. There are two major reasons for this.

The first one is because many pet owners are facing a financial crisis. Raising a dog comes with numerous expenses. From providing for their basic needs to puppy training and regular vet visits, the costs and expenses can quickly add up.

The pandemic wiped out many businesses. This made many pet owners lose their jobs. When one can barely afford their household’s daily expenses, some pet owners are left with no choice but to surrender their pets mid-pandemic. Other irresponsible owners chose to abandon their pets instead.

Numerous pets, especially dogs, were abandoned during the coronavirus crisis because many people were “dogfished” by smugglers. Dogfishing means tricking people into purchasing a dog through false advertisements. This could mean pet owners were told they are buying a certain dog breed but were given another type of dog instead.

There are also times when rehomed dogs end up with behavioral issues. Pets can be sensitive to changes in their environment and routine. If their new owners fail to help their dogs adapt to their new home, issues can arise, leading to owners needing to let go of their new pets.

What You Should Know Before Adopting a Pet

If you plan to take in a pet or two during the pandemic, then there are things you ought to know first. For one, know that adopting just any type of pet is not advisable. You need to consider numerous factors, including your lifestyle, preference, the type of animal breed, temperament, and size.

Instead of buying a pet, consider adopting one instead. There are numerous animals available in shelters that badly need your love and care. Buying from pet stores and breeders only encourages breeding.

If you insist on buying a pet, make sure you already have at least one encounter with the animal. Never buy an animal sight-unseen. Do your homework and make sure you can be responsible enough to take a new pet under your wing.

Animal shelters being out of adoptable animals is indeed good news. But many fear that after the pandemic, more animals will be left in the streets. We need to be more responsible before adopting pets. The last thing we need is for more animals to remain homeless after pet owners grew tired of caring for their pandemic-pets. Remember that pet ownership is a long-term responsibility and not just a pandemic pastime.

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Paul Watson