Coping With COVID-19: Pet Adoption

Avatar of Helen Kibel

As everyone has taken to remaining indoors for the majority of their time, pet adoptions have skyrocketed. During my family’s time fostering, hundreds of applications were sent to the Humane Society of the North Bay daily. As soon as our three three-month-old foster puppies went up for adoption, they were swooped up within the week with hundreds applicants waiting diligently on stand-by. Quarantine is the perfect opportunity to add a new member to the family. People are now home all hours of the day, and it’s the perfect environment in which to socialize a puppy or kitten. Two months ago, my family made the unanimous decision to adopt a dog. Unfortunately, it took a substantial amount of time to find a shelter that wasn’t drowning in applications. The Milo Foundation was the best option. 

Adopting a dog has many benefits, ranging from better mental and physical health to renewing one’s sense of purpose. Britannica, our new one-year-old dog, provides that and more. I find myself far more inclined to go outdoors when Britannica is so content in an outdoor environment. Runs now have a larger purpose than maintaining my own well being; they also provide time during which Britannica can explore new scents and sights. We are still socializing him, so we take every opportunity to introduce him to new things. He approaches these new experiences with open wonder and exuberance, wagging his tail and looking up at you as if to say, “Do you see this too? Isn’t it incredible?” This, of course, may be referring to things I do not see as ‘incredible,’ such as his own poop or a rotting banana peel. But nonetheless, his euphoric response and open attitude towards anything new is refreshing, and encourages me to view the world in such a manner. The world feels brighter when I have a snoring sweetheart dozing upon my foot as I read. Britannica also allows me to see the softer, sillier side of my family more often, when they play with him. He brings effortless joy to my household and he benefits in turn, spoiled rotten with affection, toys, and treats. 

It’s not only my family that has found a new addition to their household in a canine. Already, twenty people I know personally have gotten a new pet during quarantine, and sixteen of them have been dogs. There are many large responsibilities that come with adopting a pet, such as the time commitment of regular walks and additional expenses that shouldn’t be laughed at or overlooked, but it all seems to be nothing when you’ve found yourself a loyal, adoring best friend. 

Medina Lam, a sophomore at Berkeley High School (BHS), also recently brought home a new puppy, Oscar, just a few weeks ago. “He improves my mood a lot,” she said. “We weren’t exactly looking for a dog, but the opportunity just presented itself and we rolled with it. I’ve wanted a dog ever since I was little.” I asked her why her family hadn’t gotten a dog before. Lam replied, “Well, before we weren’t searching too hard. But during quarantine I managed to convince my mom. Before, it felt like we were too busy. But I think my promise to take responsibility convinced her.” This seems to be the case for many of my friends. Parents have decided that whatever kept them from adopting could be worked around, especially now that everyone in the home was lacking opportunities to socialize. 

All in all, adopting a pet is a fantastic way to boost your mood and keep yourself active. And, alongside the personal benefits, you have given an animal a home, food, and care. You don’t have to ride out quarantine alone, and a pet will ensure you live a more content life during that time.