Pandemic Pups: Adopting a Dog Amid COVID-19 in New York


August 26 is National Dog Day, and more and more people in New York City and other US cities are turning to new four-legged friends to fend off the loneliness and abundance of time spent in isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

In fact, some shelters are seeing an increase in demand for dog adoptions, according to Sarah Brasky, founder and CEO of Foster Dogs Inc., a New York-based nonprofit that helps get dogs out of shelters and to place them in foster homes.“Shelter dogs are really winning in this whole coronavirus experience,” Brasky told The Associated Press. “It’s a weird phenomenon because there has always been interest in promotion and rescue, but now it’s exploding. “

In some places, like New York City, adopting a dog might be a little more difficult now than in the past.

At this time last year, Brasky’s organization was accepting applications from about 140 people per month. This year that number has risen to around 3,000, she told the AP.

Another example is from the nonprofit Los Angeles Animal Cruelty Prevention Shelter Society, where adoptions were double their usual rate at the end of June and a waiting list had formed for certain types of dogs, according to the Washington Post.

However, don’t be put off by the recent adoption boon. If you are considering adding a new four-legged friend to your family, there are still dogs available for adoption in the United States, and many animal shelters nearby to learn more about pet ownership and meet your new furry love.

To help this National Dog Day, here are five things to know about adopting a dog during the pandemic:

1) Despite reports from shelters, dog adoptions nationwide are actually on the decline in 2020.

According to an industry report by PetPoint, a data management software used by animal shelters, 32,474 dogs were adopted in July 2020, a 22% decrease from the previous year. The number of dogs adopted in April, May and June 2020 was also down from 2019.

2) Dog abandonment by owners is also on the decline amid the pandemic.

Call it an assertion of our desire to keep four-legged family members close during the pandemic, but dog abandonments have also fallen by about 24% this year, according to the same report from PetPoint.

3) There are still many dogs (and cats) taken to shelters that will not be adopted.

According to data from the ASPCA, 3.3 million dogs are taken to shelters each year, but only 1.6 million are adopted. Additionally, 44% of Americans say they have adopted their dog, indicating that adoption is the preferred method when it comes to adding a new four-legged family member.

If you’re more of a cat, the numbers are similar – 3.2 million cats are captured each year and only 1.6 million are adopted, according to the ASPCA.

4) Your risk of catching COVID-19 from a new dog is low.

Despite a few isolated cases of dogs testing positive for the coronavirus, Dr. Douglas Kratt, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, recently told Clear The Shelters, “It doesn’t appear that animals play a role in the spread of the virus. “.

While Klatt encouraged potential pet owners not to be afraid, he advised caution. The AVMA suggests the following guidelines to keep you and your dog safe:

  • Wash your hands after grooming or playing with your pets, and before and after feeding them.
  • Keep their bedding, food and water bowl, as well as collars and leashes clean.
  • Social distance with your pet from other people and their pets.

5) Contact local animal shelters to meet a new puppy.

Whether you are seriously committed to adopting a dog or are just thinking about it, the best step is to contact a local rescue group or animal shelter to inquire about availability, possible wait lists and what’s included. in the application process.

To get started, here are some shelters near New York to contact:

NYC Boroughbreds, New York Animal Care Centers | 1-212-788-4000

New York Mayor’s Alliance for Animals | (212) 252-2350

ASPCA Adoption Center in New York | (212) 876-7700, ext. 4120 | [email protected]

The Humane Society of New York | 212-752-4842

Best Friends New York – Best Friends Animal Society | 347-76ADOPT


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