Amid the coronavirus outbreak and shelter-in-place orders, scores of Americans are adopting shelter pets, hoping the companionship of Fido will help them get through this difficult time.
Faithful Friends Animal Society in Delaware says virtually all of their adoptable dogs have been spoken for and that a March adoption event was a tremendous success when staff were able to match pets looking for new homes with caring owners.
“So many people are forced to self-quarantine, and this is very difficult for people. Many are feeling lonely, depressed, anxious and isolated,” said Shannon O’Neill, a Faithful Friends spokesperson. “Animals are innocent and give us such loyal companionship, unconditional love, and joy,” she said.
But despite doubling the total number of animals they typically place this time of year, the organization wants the public to know they still have many cats ready for adoption.
Prior to the March event, Faithful Friends was caring for 350 animals; they now have 105 adoptable pets in total, and 100 of them are cats.
“We hope more people will come out to adopt or foster a cat that have cat experience and we hope that they will look at our seniors and long-timers who are a little more shy – or may be getting overlooked,” said Shannon O’Neill, a Faithful Friends spokesperson. “Perhaps they may even take two cats – as some are bonded with a friend.”
Ginger, an 8-year-old cat, was one of the cats Faithful Friends thought they would have trouble matching with a family.
She was left at their door in a Rubbermaid container – with no air holes – and with a note stating that her owner moved. The note asked Faithful Friends to help her. Thankfully, someone interested in the foster-to-adopt program spotted Ginger and took her home. “Her foster mom said she follows her around like a dog,” says O’Neill.
O’Neill says the community’s strong response to the March adoption event could also be tied to the fact that the pandemic has presented a community-wide crisis. During hurricanes and other natural disasters, people often adopt pets as a gesture to help those animals.
“While people are generous with their time and love taking in a shelter pet we know that the animals are also rescuing us,” said O’Neill. “These shelter animals are so grateful to get into a loving home and they are a tremendous emotional support to humans in uncertain times such as this, relieving many of anxiety and giving people something to focus on other than the news and virus.”