The Truth about Pandemic Puppies

The unbearable loneliness caused by covid 19 drove many to adopt dogs they are incapable of attending to after their lives pick back up again. However, Matthew Solois, the director of veterinary economics, chooses to ignore that many dogs remain homeless after COVID-19. Solois argues that 2020, the year COVID-19 began, had the lowest pet adoptions from shelters in 5 years. This information is poorly backed up by statistics that show only a percentage of all the dogs brought home that year. The Bar Graph he presents his readers with shows a large incline in pets adopted from 2016 to 2017. Since 2017 the number of adoptions has slowly gone down to about the same number of adoptions in 2016. What Solois fails to tell his audience is that dogs don’t only come from shelters, they also come from stores, pregnant pets, backyard breeders, foreign countries, and kennels. Solois acknowledges that there are other means of adoption when he states “Although shelters aren’t the only source of new pet adoptions, they’re the primary source.” yet chooses to hide the amount of other options from his audience.  It is true that the biggest form of purchasing a pet is adoption, but that doesn’t mean all of the other options combined don’t make up for a large percent. Solois knows what he is talking about but uses the correct information and twists it to fit a false narrative. No Matter where you got your pet from, the only place you can return it to is a shelter. 

Solois shares that there were 32% fewer dogs adopted but fails to tell us what year this is in comparison to. This is because fewer people gave up their pets, in the beginning of the pandemic. All major adoptions happened after the effects of covid settled in.

Jobs that cater towards animals were affected during COVID-19 and that created a large chain reaction. Solois informs us that right before this time, programs were doing good with spaying and neutering to keep breeding down, however once they were no longer keeping up with that because of COVID-19, the dog population skyrocketed. Breeders also play a big role in this because they have been a huge reason for reproducing. They will never spay or neuter dogs because this inhumane job is to breed dogs as much as they can before the dog is unable to carry any more puppies. This cruel job was unfortunately not drastically affected by COVID-19. Fortunately these puppies were in very high demand and were being snatched up immediately. Solois completely ignored how big of a part breeders played in the pandemic by giving no statistical evidence about breeders. Dutch Pet says that according to ASPCA a whopping 34% of animals are adopted from breeders alone. 

 It’s not that there weren’t dogs to adopt, it’s that they weren’t being counted for. Rescue teams who rely on purely donations, were stuck dealing with an overwhelming amount of dogs because of Animal control not being able to work.  Solois claims that it was harder to adopt because the physical process of adopting dogs became limited to virtual meetings or fewer visitors in the shelter at a time.  This however limits how thorough home checks can be making the process of adopting that much easier. Fewer people will get denied from adoption when background checks are less intense. When it was this easy to get a dog, the population that is not fit to care for an animal is able to pass all the qualifications needed and these poor dogs ended up in the wrong hands and  would soon see the shelter again. Solois admits later in his lousy argument that “ some shelters may have observed individual adoption numbers increase and veterinary practices did see an uptick in visits from new pet owners in 2020.” He then completely discredits that information by saying “on a national level, there doesn’t appear to have been a dramatic increase in pet adoptions.” Solois again fails to recognize that in order to find a nationwide average you have to take into account all the low dog population areas, like major cities. New York City has a population of around 8 million people and according to Kaelee Nelson, a content manager at Pawlicy Advisor, there’s a ratio of 71.97 dogs per 1,000 residents but yet there’s a shocking 104 animal shelters. This will lower the statistics tremendously leading to false reports made by ignorant people. There is no reason to take nationwide data when the main focus should be the shelters and communities that are struggling.


Matthew Salois, PhD, and PhD Gail Golab DVM. “The Covid-19 Pet Adoption Boom: Did It Really Happen?” DVM 360, DVM 360, 23 Sept. 2021

Coston, D. (2022, May 23). “Pet adoptions statistics: Facts & Faqs.” Retrieved April 19, 2023.

Nelson, K. (2021, December 28). “Best U.S. cities for dogs: Pet-friendliest places in 2023.” Retrieved April 19, 2023

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10 Responses to REBUTTAL REWRITE- MellowTacos

  1. mellowtacos says:

    I’m having a hard time meeting the length requirement. What else do you think I should discuss?


  2. davidbdale says:

    —I’m really unclear what this first paragraph amounts to, MellowTacos. At the very least, if you’re going to cite a bar graph and critique it, you’ll have to share it with us.
    —We can’t tell what “truth” “some” ignore. Do they dispute the loneliness? The adoptions? The incapacity?
    —Where’s this false report from the pet food industry? Can we see it? What possible motive would an INDUSTRY have for under-reporting adoptions (or fosters)?
    —How else do shelter populations fall?
    —Do you dispute BOTH the pet food industry AND Solois. What’s his claim if NOT that adoptions have stayed flat?
    —Whose information is “false” and what are the “statistics” that support the opposite?
    —What’s a “steady decline and incline pattern”?
    —Is Solois arguing with himself? First “He” claims 2020 showed the lowest adoptions in 5 years. But then “Solois” claims that 2020’s low numbers were low because of low supply. Who’s “He”?

    —32% fewer than What? Fewer than the year before? Fewer than this year?
    —What’s the first year on the bar graph?
    —You can’t count on a Rhetorical Question as refutation, MellowTacos. Even if you’re right, “Why would there be a change in the beginning of covid, when nothing has been extremely affected yet?” is not a claim.

    —This is so vague it too fails to be a factual claim: As we all know all jobs were affected during covid and that creates a large chain reaction.
    —The “spay and neuter” evidence is Really Valuable as an explanation for WHY the rescues and shelters might have been overwhelmed with SUPPLY, MellowTacos. I don’t recall if you used it in your CAUSAL argument, but it certainly would benefit you there.
    —I guess you could call breeders selfish for continuing to produce unwanted animals, if that were the case, but weren’t those animals getting snatched up immediately at very high prices because people were so desperate to have new pets in the home?
    —I’m impressed with the detail about reduced Animal Control activity contributing to strays overproducing. That’s clever. But how does it contribute to what I THOUGHT you were going to try to argue?
    —I thought the plan was to declare that NOBODY WAS NECESSARILY SELFISH when they adopted animals. They did so in good faith. But their transition back to life-following-COVID has made them poor candidates for responsible pet ownership once normal life resumed.
    to prove that LOTS OF ANIMALS WERE ADOPTED. That should simply be a matter of statistics.

    —Let’s devote a separate paragraph to the “home checks” and other adoption processes.
    —I’d say this is among the strongest evidence that WOULD-BE ADOPTERS were not at fault when they accepted animals. They were not good candidates to begin with, but the usual checks and balances that would have denied them were not in place. They have been REVEALED to be inappropriate adopters now, in the post-COVID world.

    —I’m willing to stipulate that Solois’s analysis of the data is sloppy, but you haven’t shown it, MellowTacos, mostly because we don’t know what the data says.
    —Your refutation to Solois is unclear. 1) Are you saying the “nationwide average” numbers are inaccurate?, 2) or do you mean they’re accurate BUT contain lots of “low population areas”?, 3) What “statistic” gets lowered when either 1 or 2 occurs?, 4) Are you calling out Solois as among the “ignorant people”?, 5) Are you conceding that there actually WAS NO NATIONWIDE increase in pet adoptions? It sounds like you might be.

    Anyway, MellowTacos, I’m not sure you need MORE material, but you could surely use a more thorough explanation of the statistics you’re already using.

    Does any of that help?


  3. mellowtacos says:

    Thank you for he feedback ill revise and edit! Im confused on how to in corporate the bar graph into my essay. I have linked it in the word “statistics”.


  4. mellowtacos says:

    The Quotation Mark mistake has been ingrained in my head since high school. No one ever told me to fix it. I will be super careful before turning in my essay that I do not make that mistake!

    I also am a little confused about my opening sentence
    “The unbearable loneliness caused by covid 19 drove many to selfishly adopt dogs they are incapable of attending to after their lives pick back up again, however some choose to ignore the truth.”

    You responded with…
    “I thought the plan was to declare that NOBODY WAS NECESSARILY SELFISH when they adopted animals.”

    I had previously sent it to you over text saying I can take it out which you replied with
    “You’ll need it. It works for you.”

    Do you think I should get rid of the “selfishly” part and only blame them for giving up the dogs after the fact or blame them for getting the dog in the first place?


  5. mellowtacos says:

    I made some big changes to my essay and was wondering if you could give it another look. Thank your for your advice 🙂


  6. mellowtacos says:

    I was wondering if I could get a regrade on this?


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