Families welcome pets home during quarantine

Assistant Principal Amy Parmentiers dog and foster dog became close.

Used with permission of Amy Parmentier

Assistant Principal Amy Parmentier’s dog and foster dog became close.

Dayana Najarro, Staff Writer

Adopting a pet can lessen stress levels and the feeling of loneliness; for some, quarantine has brought both so pet adoption percentages have risen. In an article by Kaiser Family Foundation, it notes that four in 10 people have experienced symptoms from some type of depressive disorder during the lockdown. 

The pandemic has made it necessary for adoption facilities to change their rules. According to Animal Welfare League of Arlington, one will have to email the pet’s foster to arrange a virtual meeting, and the adoption process will happen online rather than in person. Once it is time to pick up the pet, one must wear a mask.

“It was kind of scary because this was during the first phase of the pandemic,” junior Johanna Luke said. “We had to be extra careful when we went to go pick up Pluto because it was a three-hour drive to Pennsylvania. We wore our masks and we made sure to sanitize everything so that we could stay safe.”

An alternative option to adopting would be fostering. When more people are fostering animals it gives more space in the shelter for animals in need. They receive more attention in a home setting rather than a shelter which can help with their stress. Young animals that grow up in foster homes will be better acclimated to living with people rather than if they were raised in a shelter. 

My husband told me that if I got another permanent pet, I would need to get another husband… I thought about it but decided to stick with him and just foster,” assistant principal Amy Parmentier said.

Petspyjamas states that children having a pet can come with many benefits, such as helping them maintain a healthy lifestyle and providing companionship. Many kids that normally wouldn’t have gotten a pet before the pandemic have been able to get one during this time because they are at home and able to care for them during the day. 
I’ve always wanted a dog ever since I was five years old,” Luke said. “I was never allowed to get one but quarantine really changed a lot for my family. I have always wanted a bigger dog and I thought a golden retriever would be perfect for my family.” 

Adopting and fostering can help save an animal’s life. Each year, around 1.5 million animals in shelters are euthanized. However, this number has been on a steady decline due to more people adopting. 

“Just having a pet here with me gives me an excuse to play in the backyard and have something to come downstairs to and see how excited he gets,” Luke said. “It was also a big bonus being able to snuggle up with him as I was watching TV during the summer. So overall he made my quarantine very enjoyable.”