Pandemic puppies deserted
after serving their short-term purpose
Although COVID-19 negatively impacted humans, dogs benefited tremendously. Shelters were being whipped clean due to the sudden increase in families and home owners wanting a furry companion during this time. In the article “Human–dog relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic: booming dog adoption during social isolation” by Liat Morgan she discussed how COVID-19 disturbed our lives and how dogs have helped. During COVID-19 there were many who suffered from any and all types of health issues while being locked away in their house. Dogs have shown to positively increase mental health. In stress-full positions such as the pandemic these pets have shown tremendous help, specifically with anxiety and depressions. Those who also deal with social anxiety whether the pandemic caused it or not will show lots of progress with a therapy animal. Studies have shown that humans and dogs are more alike due to the fact that we are both “social animals” where we can both benefit from one another. However the relationship between the two is bidirectional because we have shown to have negative effects on animals. There is a strong correlation between negative health and well being of the owner and the negative health and well being of the pet.
It’s extremely common for people to find comfort in dogs, in fact this has been deeply researched by Gabrielle Marie McKeon who works with therapy dogs. In her article “Health and Happiness: Dogs and Their Therapeutic Value” she shares with us all the benefits that therapy dogs provide us with. Sigmon Freud, a credible psychotherapist, believed that dogs had the ability to sense tension, which they then respond to. During the pandemic households were flooded with tensions and could benefit from a dog according to Freud’s study. Therapy dogs work in many different places such as homes, schools, and hospitals. Liz Cleaves, owner and operator of Auntie Dog Training Studio, says she feels that training these dogs gives her “ a deeper and better relationship”. These dogs can range from all different types of sizes and breeds. A member from a TDI Certified Therapy Team said that one of the dogs was able to connect to a patient who was very self abusive and got her to stop hitting herself. Kathryn Kircher and her dog who is TDI certified stopped by a hospital and visited an older gentleman who was not commutative and depressed for a week. That man’s daughter thanked Kircher for bringing her dog to visit because they connected so much it made him “alert and upbeat”. Dr. Stuart Markowitz, the president of Hartford hospital says that ‘“the companionship that animals bring is vital to all of us”‘.
The connection between your pet and your mental health is proven to positively affect the large population of those with poor mental health which shot up 25% during COVID-19 according to The World Health Organization. An online survey was conducted on Amazon Mechanical Turk, where they found that those who have pets are more satisfied in life than those who do not. They broke the data down and found that dog owners scored higher showing that they have better overall wellbeing. This would explain why millions of dogs were adopted. Research also showed that there has yet to be many studies proving that there’s a positive impact on those with good mental health. This could explain why many people returned their dogs to the shelter after the pandemic because they no longer felt they needed that comfort they once needed.
With all the information we have found throughout the years that prove therapy animals are beneficial, people can’t resist and end up adopting in an attempt to help themselves during the pandemic. It’s a win-win situation, until it wasn’t. The pandemic left some people desperately struggling with depression, anxiety or high stress levels. In hopes to find comfort in a scary time these people coped by adopting dogs. Millions of dogs were adopted and taken in with open arms. However, people did not take into consideration everything that comes with the responsibility of owning a dog, especially puppies. Dogs require an abundance of energy and responsibility, they are not at our dispense for when we are down. Dogs were given back to the shelters at an alarming rate because of poor planning. Some pandemic adopters who could afford the cost of the dogs ended up not being able to provide the care needed when returning to work after.
The further Morgan looked into this, she noted that there was an obvious difference between an “individual’s quality of life and their perceptions of their dog’s quality of life.” 312 people were asked why they had decided to get a dog in the beginning of the pandemic. 38.5% said they had been thinking about it for a while and thought this was the perfect opportunity. 37.8% said they were going to get a dog no matter what. 8.0% adopted in an effort to not feel lonely and 9.3% said they felt obligated after hearing about how others were returning their dogs.
The shelters were severely impacted by COVID-19 because of the amount of dogs going in and not as many going out. These shelters were ending up without supplies and room to house all the animals new and old. What happens with shelters that don’t have enough room is that they will have to refuse people who bring them in and those dogs end up on the street, in the wrong hands, or euthanized. Shelters are still recovering from the pandemic till this day. Unfortunately, way too many dogs weren’t able to find room in the shelter.
What was known as “a man’s best friend” quickly became a “ temporary companion.” The unbearable loneliness that COVID-19 brought upon us caused people who normally wouldn’t adopt to bring home that adorable puppy.
Before COVID-19 had even been discovered there was no pet demand whatsoever. Shelters and fosters were just as sad and packed as ever. People went on with their lives without a single desire to adopt a dog, despite their need for a home. These same people didn’t need to because they were already emotionally complete. They had an abundance of social interactions and weekend plans after a long week of work. They spent their hard earned leisure income on vacations, fine dining, and hobbies . Their jobs kept them well enough engaged where they didn’t need to be more active.
Within two years the world has flipped upside down. Those same people are now out of a job or barely working from home surviving off aid from the government. Everyone became totally afraid and isolated from society. No one had a single idea what to do, they were no longer engaged or socially active. Leisure money now had no use and quickly became extra money they weren’t spending on socializing. Humans require companionship, they need something.
The University of Alabama’s experts discussed how it has drastically changed society. A better alternative for adopting pets would have been an app called “B Well” created by hospitals that is now up and running(UBA, para1) . This app has a self-care feature to monitor your healthy habits like sleep, movemeet, nutrition, routine as well as habits that you can create yourself. These apps are crucial to helping battle loneliness and depression during COVID-19. People were stripped of their everyday routine and their hobbies have become limited. They have all this new free time now that they didn’t before. This is the reason for the new demand for dogs.
No matter what it is, spending time on an activity you enjoy can improve mental health. Research proves that it is less likely to suffer from mental illnesses like depression, when you have a hobby. Participating in group activities and gatherings is also extremely crucial for mental well being
(head to health, para 2). It helps improve communication skills and build connections with others which COVID-19 has taken away. Socializing is something so little that affects us so much. It’s so important that it “has been considered an important factor for preventing Dementia and Alzheimer’s”, according to Bella Vista Health Center Blog. We took it for granted and now not only did we suffer ourselves but many dogs were abandoned on the way. That dog may have missed its opportunity to find someone who actually cares for them in the long run.
Nearly 1 in 5 households got a pet, out of that 1 in 5, “was a total of 78 million dogs” according to Givens. The main concern as to why they are now returning their dogs is because of financial security. The issue here isn’t the dogs, it’s the owners. People went from being a bad Adoption Candidate to all the sudden a Good Adoption Candidate and unfortunately right back to back to a bad, if not, a worse adoption candidate.
Finally nearing the end of COVID-19 people started to hop right back into their old schedules, the ones that didn’t fit a dog. They returned right back to the office full time. Their social lives sparked back up again, but with all that leisure money now going to a dog they can’t go out as much. Poor adopters returning to their old lives where they were emotionally complete, realized there was no need for a furry companion anymore.
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-19 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.
Aine Givens. ManyPets “5 Statistics about the COVID-19 Pet Adoption Surge.” ManyPets, ManyPets (US)
Bella Vista Health Center. “How Socialization Affects Your Overall Mental Health: Bella Vista San Diego, CA.” Bella Vista Health Center, Bella Vista Health Center, 14 Sept. 2016.
Coston, D. (2022, May 23). “Pet adoptions statistics: Facts & Faqs.” Retrieved April 19, 2023.
“How the COVID-19 Pandemic Changed Society.” UAB News
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
Morgan, L., Protopopova, A., Birkler, R. I. D., Itin-Shwartz, B., Sutton, G. A., Gamliel, A., Yakobson, B., & Raz, T. (2020, November 24). “Human–dog relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic: Booming dog adoption during social isolation.” Nature News. Retrieved March 6, 2023, from
Nelson, K. (2021, December 28). “Best U.S. cities for dogs: Pet-friendliest places in 2023.” Retrieved April 19, 2023
Pets and happiness: Examining the association between pet ownership and Wellbeing. Taylor & Francis. (n.d.). Retrieved March 6, 2023, from
“Purposeful Activity – Hobbies.” Head to Health,
World Health Organization. (n.d.). “Covid-19 pandemic triggers 25% increase in prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide.” World Health Organization. Retrieved March 6, 2023.
I think you’ve made some sloppy cuts and pastes, MellowTacos. Several of your paragraphs contain sentences with wicked splices in them. I’ll indicate the spots I’ve found. Please find and fix all of them so I can evaluate a clean copy.
Good afternoon Professor,
I fixed the splices and was wondering is I can get a re-grade?
Regraded SAT APR 29