The isolation created by quarantine is just one of the extremely burdening, negative externalities of Covid-19. As the pandemic continues into the new year, it is not surprising that many have been needing a remedy for their loneliness. One such antidote is adopting a new pet from a local shelter. Since March, when quarantine began in the U.S, shelters have seen a dramatic increase in animal adoptions. Despite previous worries that adoption rates would decrease, the opposite has occurred, and some shelters have even become cleared of most animals. The demand for fostering and adopting pets has skyrocketed, as people are more willing than ever to bring new family members into their households due to spending more time at home than ever before.
Despite quarantine and social-distance mandates, shelters have come up with creative ways to respond to their ever growing customer base. One such way to allow potential pet parents to safely adopt their pets in person is through a drive-thru event. The Best Friends Animal Society, in Los Angeles, has successfully hosted kitten adoptions in just this manner. In order to safeguard the health of the workers, customers, and pets, the drive-thru requires people to remain in their cars, but does not hinder being able to see the kittens face-to-face. The animals remain in their cages, but are brought outside and kept in the shade, while people drive past the row of kittens with the car windows down, and write down the names of the kittens they will potentially adopt. Along with their names on the cage, their age, gender, and other characteristics are briefly described.
Many worry about the economic responsibility of adopting a pet, especially during quarantine. However, adopting is generally less expensive than buying pets at a petstore. Adoption fees for these kittens range from $10-20, and one can purchase two for the price of one at certain locations. They also come spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped, which is all included in the price. Thus, the adoption process done in this manner is inexpensive and time-efficient, allowing the capability of pet adoptions to thrive amidst the pandemic. For those who cannot afford to keep a pet forever, fostering during quarantine is a helpful alternative, as it also helps clear space in shelters.
While physical health is most at risk during the pandemic, quarantining, especially alone, can take a major toll on one’s mental, emotional, and even physical health. Pets as companions have proven to help alleviate depression and anxiety. A relationship with a pet, specifically an adopted pet, is mutually beneficial. By adopting instead of shopping, animal lives are saved from the cruel fate of euthanization. The Best Friends Animal Society’s initiative, No Kill Los Angeles, is pushing for the termination of kill shelters, which would save many animal lives. As quarantine continues, people should consider curing their burgeoning loneliness by starting a mutually beneficial relationship with a new pet.