Pet Adoption During COVID-19


Karly Hamilton

Karly Hamilton ’21 has spent time taking her cat outside while quarantined.

Kate Hirschen, Culture Editor

Over the course of the pandemic, many families have been looking for a way to add some extra joy to their lives. The solution some families have found: adopting pets. From dogs to fish, pets are being adopted into homes everywhere.

In our community, the Hammer family adopted a puppy in early September. Kona is a friendly Cavapoo that the family has embraced. To hear more about the pandemic adoption experience, The Gator spoke with Talia Hammer ’23.

Why did you decide to get you dog?

My family has wanted a dog for a long time. Well, me, my siblings and my mom have. However, my dad is not much of a dog person. Because of that, he has not wanted a dog in the house for all these years. When COVID-19 came, my parents came up with a million projects for all of us to do. As you might expect, they failed because kids are lazy. But my sister decided to find something else to keep herself busy which was convincing my dad to get a dog. It took about 30 conversations with my dad of learning his concerns about it, figuring out how to fix them, and then coming up with a new proposal. After 4 1/2 months of talking a couple times a week, my sister finally brought me and my brother into the conversation. We too had to convince my dad that we were committed and he would not have any responsibly with the dog at all. In addition, we needed to give him things in return such as spending less time on our media devices. It was long and tiring, but so worth it. My dad finally agreed in mid-August. Once that conversation was over, we looked into many different breeds of dogs and finally found the right one.

How has she made your family happier in this hard time?

She’s made us so much happier because a dog is something the four of us have always wanted: a cute, cuddly animal roaming around. She’s loving, playful, and mischievous, making for lots of cuddling and laughing. We love to take her on walks where she eats everything you could find on the ground, playing with her, and watching her scavenge for food in every inch of the kitchen.

Hammer’s family is not the only one to turn to animals in an effort to find additional joy. Over the summer, The Washington Post published an article on increases in adoption rates since the pandemic dominated the U.S. in March.

“At Animal Care Centers of NYC, about 25 percent of the people who agreed to take in foster dogs temporarily at the start of the pandemic had adopted them permanently by late June,” the article reads. “Usually, that foster-turned-adopter figure is 10 percent, said Katy Hansen, director of marketing and communications.”

Dogs are not the only species to see increases in adoption rates. According to an April CNBC article, cats have been adopted more than usual as well.

Meow Parlour, a cat cafe in New York City, was completely devoid of cats by early April.

“Meow Parlour, like other animal rescues across the country, saw a spike in adoptions and foster applications in late February and early March as people prepared for extended stays at home,” the article said. “Now Ha [the owner] wonders if she’ll be able to reopen once the pandemic ebbs. Even if the outbreak were to subside tomorrow, Ha said, ‘We don’t have enough cats to reopen and call ourselves a cat cafe.'”

As the pandemic continues, pets across the country continue to adjust to their new homes.