The Covid-19 pandemic was devastating in many ways. As the world starts rebuilding and preparing for the future of a “post-Covid” world, much of that devastation will continue to have a lasting impact.
As the pandemic began, a bright spot for those working in animal rescue was the sharp increase in demand for shelter dogs and other pets. However, as those who work in the field know, many who choose to adopt, especially first-time owners, can face a huge number of challenges.
In many ways, the phenomenon of “pandemic puppies” reflects the unfortunate trend of rabbit adoption during Easter and other “fads” of animal ownership that put the health of the animal second to their novelty.
The boom in adoption was largely spurred by people working from home, though that situation was temporary for many. Now, as in-person work resumes for many career fields, adopted dogs (especially puppies) are getting the short end of the stick.
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“They got a whole world of behavioral issues because now they are without their family, they’re stuck in a crate eight hours a day, or whatever it is it’s very traumatizing for them,” said Morgan Sokolow, director of Pet Matchmaker Rescue in Bakersfield, CA in an interview with BakersfieldNow.
Sokolow claims that this issue emphasizes the need for proper training and planning when choosing to bring a pet into your life. For some, this may mean obedience courses or personalized help from a trainer or veterinarian. To take care of a pup, socialization and consistency are, of course, key as well, though the uncertainty of the pandemic has made this more difficult for some.
In the unfortunate event that a dog needs to be surrendered or returned to a shelter, owners should keep in mind all they’ve learned about the animal and be willing to share it with those that will be taking on the responsibility.
“The best thing they can do is give us as much information as possible,” Sokolow continues. “The more information that rescues have in the shelters, the more we can acclimate them to the right environment with a foster or… another rescue.”
As one of the many dog owners who adopted a pup in the middle of lockdown, I couldn’t imagine giving him up. It was absolutely the right decision and he brings us so much joy. However, everyone’s situation is different, and, especially now, unpredictable.
Hopefully, as things stabilize for humans impacted by the pandemic, they stabilize for their pets as well. Learn more about the work done by shelters and volunteers during the lockdown at Pet Matchmaker Rescue’s official site!
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