Story by Lilian Zhu
Photos by Katelyn Hernandez & Sophie Yeung
Skyrocketing pet adoptions since the beginning of quarantine have brought joy and eased loneliness for many families as the pandemic stretches to one year.
For many, coronavirus shutdowns in March contributed to decisions to add a new member to the family since they guaranteed more time at home to care for a pet.
“Between school, sports, and my work, there never seemed enough time to add in taking care of a puppy,” community member Liz Friedman, who adopted a Goldendoodle puppy in June, said. “When [the coronavirus] hit in March and we were suddenly home all the time, we realized it was the best time we’d ever have to be able to raise a puppy.”
Taking inspiration from the pandemic, the Friedman family named their new Goldendoodle puppy Kovi after they adopted him in June.
SPHS junior Lulu Talesnick and her family decided to adopt their third puppy, driving to Arizona to meet with a breeder for Akitas — dogs that originated from Japan and are prized for their loyalty.
“Thankfully, we now have the time and energy to take care of all of our dogs, always making sure to give them a lot of love and attention every day,” Talesnick said. “Ultimately, I know my family would not change our experience for the world. Three dogs are definitely a handful, but they genuinely make every day better. Activities like family dog walks have become a huge part of my life and something I really look forward to [during quarantine].”
Many have also chosen to adopt pets from the Pasadena Humane Society through a new social distancing adoption process. Prospective adopters must schedule a 30-minute online appointment where they will meet with a counselor to discuss any pet concerns.
“Because more people are home, they have a lot more time on their hands, [so] interest in pet adoption has gone way up. They’re able to spend the time giving [animals] the care that they need,” Pasadena Humane Society Vice President of Community Engagement Jack Hagerman said. “It’s been really wonderful to see how much the community has come forward to help animals in this time. It’s really inspiring.”
The high demand has resulted in more adoptions for senior pets or animals that require extra care, which are usually less sought after. Shelters and rescues have immensely benefited from the demand, as well as the animals and their owners.
“[Our dog has] given us an unquantifiable amount of happiness and love. His original owners [did not provide] a good environment,” SPHS sophomore Elijah Masjedi, whose family rescued a Maltipoo in late January, said. “Rescuing him gave us something to really look forward to [seeing him] every single day, which is harder to find each day the pandemic continues.”
Pet rescue “I stand with my pack” brightened the Masjedi family’s quarantine as they adopted their first ever dog, Babka, there in late January.