With the current state of the world, it's evident that humanity is feeling a little bit frantic. From financial worries and restlessness to fear and anxiety, we’re all experiencing a range of emotions that can make life feel overwhelming and difficult to cope with. Not to mention a very clear shortage of essential goods at both the healthcare and general public level has overtly induced panic.
Society however has seemed to band together and step forward to help fill this void. Companies big and small have shifted gears all over the world to manufacture critical goods to a distressed public. Dyson - known for their high-end vacuum products - are now manufacturing ventilators to relieve overrun hospitals. Ford is mass producing plastic face shields for healthcare workers, and distilleries are producing antibacterial gel which has become a kind of liquid gold in today’s civilization. Who’d have ever thought?
And it’s not just at a corporate level either. People are stepping forward to help their fellow neighbor! Whether it’s buying groceries for someone elderly or immunocompromised, or by simply sharing a few rolls of toilet paper to the person who’s scoured their city in search. The human race is pushing through this pandemic with kindness and it’s been so refreshing to witness.
But as with anything in this world, there are always aspects that are overlooked or simply not thought of. We tend to forget about the weary world of animal rescue. Shelters and rescues are typically volunteer-based, even at the city-run level. And these organizations are always operating at full capacity, even when we’re not in the middle of a global pandemic. They depend greatly on the support of their communities through donations and volunteers to help provide adequate care for the animals in their protection. Because of the stay-at-home orders in place all over the world, many of these organizations are left in crisis - people are too afraid to get out and help.
The fear is substantiated and the media doesn’t help. There have been a few occasions that we can remember in which animals have allegedly tested positive for COVID-19, which has led to a panic that our beloved pets could transmit the disease and/or vice versa. Shelters are seeing a spike in abandoned and surrendered animals, with even less personnel to help care for them. There is still so much that is unknown or understood about COVID-19. Given the number of household pets all over the world compared to the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, there’s not enough significant or meaningful proof that our pets pose a threat to any of us.
We urge you not to panic and please, don’t surrender your pets. In fact, we’re pleading with you to adopt a dog in need if you’re able to. Not only would you be helping to save the life of the dog, but you’d be alleviating an ever-growing pressure on the rescues and shelters as well.
Our friends over at Breed Advisor put together a wonderfully detailed guide called, “The Ultimate Guide to Dog Adoption,” which we believe very thoroughly helps get you through the adoption process from beginning to end. It covers all the stops from what questions you should be asking yourself before you begin the process to what you should do when issues arise after you’ve brought your furry little (or big) bundle of joy home. If you’ve thought about it or been on the fence about it, this guide will help you make the best decision for you. They really know their stuff.
Here are a couple of the key points we loved most!
Asking yourselves these types of questions are valuable because it helps you determine if a) you’re actually ready to take on the responsibility of having a pet to care for, and b) to start the process of gauging what kind of pet would be best for your lifestyle.
Which brings us to another great point in Breed Advisor’s Ultimate Guide:
Be sure to research breeds before starting the adoption process to avoid falling in love with a pooch that won’t mesh with your family or suit your lifestyle. If you’re keen on adopting a mixed breed pup, research both breeds, and ask the shelter or rescue group about any known behavioral problems.
Shelters - When you adopt a dog from a shelter, you are literally saving a life. Many dogs who end up in shelters have survived horrific circumstances. At best, their owners were unable to keep them, which can be traumatizing in itself; however, these dogs have often been neglected and/or abused and are in desperate need of a loving home. Your new companion will be forever grateful.
Shelters generally charge an adoption fee of $0 to $500, and most have each dog vet checked, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered before sending the pup to his or her new home. Check with your local shelter for adoption fees and what’s included.
Rescue Groups - Rescue dogs are typically kept in foster homes until they find a new forever home. The individuals who take these pups in temporarily are able to form a close connection with the dogs and monitor any behavior problems. Foster parents can also help determine if a dog and a potential owner are a good match.
Adoption Services - Online adoption services can help connect you with the right pet for you and your family. Adopt-a-Pet.com is a non-profit organization that advocates pet adoptions and offers an easy-to-use database to simplify your search.
What is very important to us about this section of the guide is researching the breed you're interested in adopting prior to making any decisions. If you are an active person who is wanting a companion to join you on daily, five-mile runs adopting a dog with a short muzzle and legs might not be the best choice. On the flip side, if you work a lot and can’t devote a lot of time to exercise maybe a Basset Hound would be a better fit. It’s important to note however that no matter the activity level of the dog you choose, every dog requires some level of daily exercise.
There is so much great information in this Ultimate Guide to Adopting a Dog that we simply cannot convey without copying it word for word. We encourage each of you to head over to Breed Advisor to read it through yourself! Remember that now more than ever, our four-legged friends need us! And if you have the time and room in your heart, get out there and save a life!