Furry Friends of Quarantine

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Washburn family's new puppy, Luka

Mira Felczak, Staff Writer

This time of shelter-in-place is perfect to welcome new furry additions into your home and family. Pets can provide much needed relief from the anxiety and stress that is occuring during these crazy and uncertain times. 

New pets can provide a distraction from everything going on in the world right now and can represent hope in a household. Being stuck at home also provides more time that can be focussed on training your pet and spending time with them to form a bond and give them attention, which will be much-appreciated on their part.

Many people are recognizing this time as a prime time to adopt pets and are partaking in it. Rates of interest in adopting animals during this time are skyrocketing for many animal shelters and rescue organizations all across the country, resulting in many facilities’ populations dropping drastically. Some shelters and rescues are even reporting running out of animals available for adoption as demand for furry additions continues to increase.

For instance, The Detroit Animal Care and Control shelter said that many of their cages are empty during this time as their adoption rates climb to the highest they have ever been. They reported that they typically have around 100-200 animals, but as of the start of this month, they had 36. 

A huge reason for the occurrence of this big boom of adoptions is because many shelters and rescues are asking people to take in animals due to this pandemic. They are requesting that people adopt animals to free up space in the facilities for housing purposes of animals whose owners happen to fall sick. 

They are also requesting people to take animals out of facilities and into their homes to limit the amount of staff needed in the building in accordance with current protocols and to ensure they will not be imparied or overwhelmed should staff members fall sick.

As a result of calls for social distancing, many shelters and rescues are reportedly changing their adoption processes. Facilities are offering virtual meet-and-greets where people get to see and interact with animals they may be interested in over the phone. 

During these times, the entire adoption process is done completely virtually and people interested in adopting are approved before even going to the facility. They, therefore, only go to the facility once it is time for them to pick up their new addition. 

That being said, picking up their new furry friend then takes place in a variety of ways. At some facilities, people interested in adopting animals can only enter and/or partake in adoption processes by appointment. People can no longer enter facilities and roam about whenever they please in accordance to the call for social distancing. 

Other facilities are trying their best to do pickups of animals being adopted outside whenever possible and are using crates for the animals in order to truly limit human-to-human contact. 

Sometimes people adopting animals partake in curb-side pickup in which staff members bring out the animals along with a bag of food and the happy family with a new addition drives away. 

Other times, the people adopting pets wait in their car until a staff member brings out their new pet in a crate. They wait until the staff member places the crate on the ground to get out of their car and pick up their new furry friend in order to ensure that there is no contact made and they stay the required six feet away from each other. 

Many organizations are offering virtual tools and services for pet owners amid this time of social distancing. For example, The Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV) is offering online training tutorials to new pet owners during this time. There are also virtual veterinarian visits being offered, by the Michigan Humane Society, to pet owners that have health concerns regarding their furry additions. 

A sophomore at Lake Shore, Joe Washburn, and his family have taken part in this boom of adoptions and quest for the perfect addition to their home during this time of crisis. They picked up their Boston Terrier puppy, Luka, on May 2.

Washburn explained that he and his family began the whole process “by trying to find the right dog breed” for them and their living situation. They eventually reached the conclusion that a Boston Terrier would be the perfect fit for them and their home life. 

The Washburn family did not adopt their puppy from a shelter or rescue organization but rather from a breeder of Boston Terriers. As explained by Washburn, after looking up dog breeders that breed Boston Terriers, his family found one that lived an hour away from them. They then contacted the breeder and told her that they were interested in adopting one of the puppies. According to Washburn, “She said okay” and they scheduled a date to go to her house and take a look at the dogs. 

Once the day came, the Washburn family drove over to her house. Washburn explained, “There were five puppies, three girls and two boys. We ended up picking a boy. After that, we had to wait six weeks so then the puppy could grow and be ready for a home.” 

In regards to the current situation, Washburn explained the process of getting the puppy as a situation in which, “Nothing changed because of what’s going on right now. It was normal and it was like nothing was even going on in the world right now.” 

Washburn went on to explain his life, his family’s life, and the new puppy’s life as “good.” He mentioned that the stay-at-home order is not affecting their lives “because the puppy is still young” and they are constantly home with him. Washburn then went on to add that, “If the puppy was older it would affect us more because we would want to take him to the dog parks and my family’s house so he could socialize.” Washburn did mention that he was a little stressed with the new addition to his life and household as “it’s like taking care of a baby.”

If you and your family are interested in bringing a new furry addition into your home and lifestyle during these times of isolation try contacting and/or visiting these places, of course while still practicing social distancing and making the effort to partake in whatever processes of adopting and seeing the animals the facilities have put in place during this time: 

  • Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption located at 20542 Harper Ave, Harper Woods, MI 48225
  • I Heart Dogs Rescue and Animal Haven located at 22415 Groesbeck Hwy, Warren, MI 48089 Mary T’s Chis located at 22430 Gratiot Ave, Eastpointe, MI 48021
  • PetSmart located at 20530 E Thirteen Mile Rd, Roseville, MI 48066 
  • New Beginnings Animal Rescue located at 2502 Rochester Rd, Royal Oak, MI 48073
  • Michigan Humane Society Pet Adoption located at 7887 Chrysler Dr, Detroit, MI 48211
  • Humane Society of Macomb located at 11350 22 Mile Rd, Utica, MI 48317
  • Detroit Animal Care and Control 7401 Chrysler Dr, Detroit, MI 48211