SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of uncertainty but one thing it seems to be doing is having a positive impact on those seeking emotional support through pets.
According to findings from SEMrush, a data and trends analytics company, Google search volume around pet adoptions has increased over 300% the last two weeks of March.
Animal shelters in Utah, who have had to shut down, have been asking those staying at home to foster animals if they’re able to during this time.
With that request, Temma Martin, Public Relations Manager for Best Friends Animal Society said people have been eager to help and they have seen a huge increase in animals going into homes, either temporarily as fosters or permanently as adoptions.
“Only a few weeks ago, many people may have felt they didn’t have the time, or weren’t home enough to foster or adopt a pet, but for so people who are now working remotely from home, it seems there’s no better time to welcome a furry friend into the home,” said Martin.
The beauty of fostering is that it can be temporary, so as long as everyone gets along for the weeks the pet will be in the home, there is less pressure to find the perfect fit.There are so many dogs and cats who would love to spend this time with you and your family plus most organizations provide food, supplies, medication and veterinary care during the foster stay. It really is a wonderful way to do something worthwhile during this crisis.“
Martin said it’s a phenomenal number of foster homes, and a great number of adoptions considering they are closed to the public and doing everything by email, virtual meet and greet, and by appointment only.
Since Best Friends closed on March 18th to the public, they have completed 140 adoptions, placed 348 animals in our foster care and relocated 26 community cats. Additionally 293 animals have entered into their program after they took in animals from at least 17 shelters across the state, and 130 came from the Best Friends sanctuary in Kanab.
Many fosters turn into adoptions, either because the foster family gets attached and adopts, or because the fosters are actively showcasing their foster pets to get them adopted by others.
Martin said it’s a good idea to do some homework and consider a dog’s breed, age, size, activity level and hair length, which will all be important factors in selecting a dog who will fit well into your family and lifestyle.
“It’s also important thing to adopt a dog whose personality, exercise needs, size and behavior match your stage in life, and those of your family members,” said Martin. “Cats vary less, so generally personality, hair length and how the cat fits with the family and other pets are the main things to consider.“
Adopting is a lifetime commitment to the pet, so Martin said it’s important to choose a pet to adopt that is a good fit for your lifestyle, even after this crisis ends and you go back to working outside the home.
Best Friends has set up virtual pet of the week segments you can see on their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bfutfosterconnection/
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