It's estimated that 625,000 adoptable dogs and cats were euthanized in the United States in 2019. There are simply too many animals coming into shelters and too few people considering adoption when looking for a pet.
But this gruesome number could be reduced dramatically. All it would take is two things: more responsible pet owners so that fewer critters end up in shelters in the first place and more people adopting pets instead of buying them.
When you adopt, you not only get a friend for life but you also open up shelter space for another animal who might desperately need it. Continuing our tradition, we at Bored Panda scrolled through the subreddit r/BeforeNAfterAdoption and hand-picked the most wholesome photos that were uploaded this month, showing adorable animals enjoying their second chance at life.
The Shelter Made A Rule That These Siblings Had To Be Adopted Together Because They Were Inseparable. They Sleep Like This Every Night
Owning a companion animal such as a dog or a cat has benefits for good mental health, and has really helped people during the pandemic. After all, interactions with animals may help with depression and anxiety, particularly under stress-prone conditions (human-animal interactions may even improve peer-to-peer social relationships as well as enhance feelings of respect, trust, and empathy between people).
However, some researchers have been worrying that a dramatic increase in dog abandonment could potentially occur due to COVID-19 related health, economic, and social stresses as well as due to inconclusive reports of companion animals being potential COVID-19 carriers.
Adopted A Cat But Left Her Brother So I Had To Go Back A Few Days Later And Get Him Too
But one study found that the stricter the social isolation became during the COVID-19 pandemic, the greater the interest in dog adoption. It concluded that the adoption rate increased significantly, while dog abandonment did not change. Moreover, there was a clear association between individual's quality of life and their perception of their dog’s quality of life and behavior—as humans and dogs are both social animals, these findings suggest that human-dog relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic have only gotten stronger.
This My New Pupper Sanoi! She’s About 14 Weeks Old And Can’t Figure Out What To Do With Her Ears
Public Relations Manager at Best Friends Animal Society, Temma Martin, said there is now a silver lining when it comes to pets in shelters. "People have stepped up like never before to adopt and foster, both for Best Friends and for shelters across the country," Martin told Bored Panda.
"Shelters and rescue groups adapted quickly to continue saving lives through virtual adoptions, and many shelters report even greater success with virtual adoptions than traditional ones because pets show far better in foster homes than they do in kennels or cages. This offers adopters a chance to meet a dog or cat virtually, in a home or on a couch rather than in a shelter environment, and to see their true personality shine in a foster home."
Just Thought I’d Share My Blind Rescue Being Her Adorable Self
According to Martin, foster parents also have more first-hand knowledge of the animals and are able to participate directly in the virtual adoption process, sharing with potential adopters how the pets get along with other animals and family members, and their individual likes and dislikes, quirks, skills, and behaviors.
"For example, looking just at numbers from Best Friends' Lifesaving Center in Salt Lake City as an example, in 2020, through late December, nearly 5,000 animals were placed in foster homes, and 3,050 were adopted, compared to 2,740 foster placements and 2,514 adoptions in 2019."
The good news is that these figures represent a broader situation as well. Martin highlighted that nationally, a remarkable number of COVID-19 cats and pandemic pups have been adopted from shelters and rescue groups since the virus took over our world. "According to shelter pet data sources, Shelter Animals Count and PetPoint, which receive shelter intake and outcome data from thousands of shelters across the country, at least a million pets have been adopted over the last eight months, and tens of thousands more are currently in foster homes."
Was Hesitant When The Shelter Said We Had To Get Two, Think I Understand Why Now
"It's not surprising that so many people are looking to acquire a pet amid the [pandemic]," Martin added. "During this difficult time, our pets serve as companions, provide emotional support, help us cope with social isolation and—in the case of dogs—get us outside for exercise and fresh air."
This is also a fantastic time to adopt because pets are just good for us. "Numerous studies have determined that the presence of pets is beneficial for our physical and mental health. The companionship of animals has been shown to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lessen depression and anxiety, helping people to feel calmer and more secure when the news from the outside world is distressing."
Rescued Tiny Dog. No More Worries Little Guy. You Will Forever Be Warm Now
If you too have both the desire and the possibility to get a companion animal, Best Friends Animal Society encourages you to choose the adoption option by taking in a homeless pet from a local animal shelter or rescue group, rather than buying from a breeder, pet store or online retailer.
While there are many benefits of adopting, one of the most important is knowing that you’re saving a life. Purebreds, mutts, and cats—animals of all tails and paws lose their homes due to issues that are no fault of their own, like financial crisis, divorce, or a death in the family.
"These pets are waiting in shelters and rescue groups for someone to fall in love with them and take them home," Martin said. "Adopted pets seem to know that they have been given a second chance, and they are most likely to repay their families with a lifetime of unconditional love. Adopters often express that their shelter and rescue pets show a dedication, love, and loyalty to their people that pets acquired from other sources simply can't rival."