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Dog-Sense: For All Dog Owners


Adopting Dogs During Disasters


Of course dogs bring comfort but how humane is it to adopt a dog knowing you are going to dump it at the shelter after your personal crisis is over?


April 27, 2020 |

Karen Rhodes, Family Dog Consultant


I have to admit I was a bit taken back when viewing a national news channel. The story was about people adopting adult dogs and puppies to have something to do during the stay at home, social distancing orders issued by state and federal politicians and medical professionals.


Apparently, it is in vogue to adopt a non-human friend during the time when many people are socially isolated.


The statistics presented were that dog adoptions have increased significantly since the pandemic. I was wondering why these people decided now to adopt a dog when they did not have any pets prior to this horrible, stressful situation?


As a life-long dog owner who did not have the luxury of staying home all the time, my work hours were demanding and so was taking care of a child and several species of pets. Time constructions were rather stressful and definitely a juggling act. Everyone needed attention during the day and upon returning for work and they wanted it immediately!


Keeping pets in general is work, training can be frustrating but hopefully the decision and care of a pet is a labor of love for the duration of the life of the animal.


Animal husbandry demands significant dedication, money and time. Finding appropriate care for animals when you take a vacation or there’s an illnesses or other disruptions can also be difficult if not expensive, which bring me to the cost of raising healthy animals.


Veterinary care is routine, part of the budget, but for emergency care the cost of having pets can run into unplanned expenditures.



Training can be costly if you do not do it yourself. Dogs and cats can develop behavior problems if not trained and exercised. Grooming, if not self-maintained, can be quite expensive. Nail trims and teeth care can be done at home but for many people they are routine expenditures some owners do not plan for.


I have never been without a dog and now with early retirement I am able to have three lovely house dogs that are the loves of my life. Their companionship, love and exercise times are life enriching and I cannot imagine my life without them. However, when I saw television promoting dog adoption as a self-preservation distraction during times of being shut in, I could not help but be concerned for the animals.


What happens after the owners, returning to their “normal life” find the care and emotional needs of an animal “too much”?


Does that leave many dogs used to companionship and camaraderie on a regular basis being pushed aside? Are they then neglected due to the lift of the stay at home orders?


All we can do is hope that these adopters have the best interest of the animals at heart after their lives return to the same as before.


Please keep these concerns in mind when adding a comfort animal to your home. Remember that they will always be your best friends through thick and thin, good times and bad. You should not be less…


The world does not need post-pandemic abandonment of pets who trusted you. Animals that gave you comfort and “something to do” when your life turned upside down. What would that say about human beings? EST 2002 © 2004



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