Two’s Company: The Role of Pets in the Pandemic

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Sarah Dittle

Throughout the pandemic, pets were a common way of coping with loneliness or cabin fever during quarantine. In fact, according to a study done by the ASPCA, for the first time in years, more pets were adopted than the amount of strays that were taken in by shelters. The study suggested that one in five families adopted a pet during the period between the beginning of the pandemic and May 26th, 2021. During the early months of the pandemic, more people were less inclined to push pets out onto the streets, presumably to help their own loneliness. Many pets and their families were impacted as a result of the quarantine.
“My dog was influenced by Covid as we were always home, she has separation anxiety. I feel that Covid greatly impacted how she is, Cardi is a very loving dog and will always be with you,” said sophomore Jazmine Orozco.
Cardi, who was adopted as a second dog as a way to help Orozco’s first dog, is a two-year old mixed breed of Doberman, Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, and terrier. The Orozcos adopted Cardi from Orozcos’ brother’s girlfriend, whose own dog had had puppies. Orozco said they got her when her brother had gone off to college to make their house feel full again.
“Mimi is just like Cardi, she is very lovable but Mimi is a rascal. She is always in some type of trouble but we love her,” said Orozco.
In addition to Cardi, Orozco also adopted a puppy named Mimi. This was to help with Cardi’s separation anxiety. Adopted from the same original owners of Cardi, Mimi is a dachshund and terrier mix. Cardi has been like a big sister to Mimi, says Orozco. When the family left for a trip to California, they watched over the dogs through security cameras. Orozco said they handled themselves well as they had each other for company.
Sophomore Sarai Burdin also adopted a dog into her family during the pandemic. Kiyo, a French bulldog, is a year old and was brought home from a breeder. Kiyo was described as a clingy, yet very loveable dog, making him a welcome addition to the family, as Burdin’s mom also wanted a French bulldog.
“He’s been really used to hanging out inside the house. He helped me because I always had him to hang out and play with when I was bored or couldn’t go anywhere,” said Burdin.
Unlike Orozco and Burdin, sophomore Emily Keane adopted her pet as a surprise from the Pet Hale at Mililani Shopping Center. Millie, her dog, was advertised as a chihuahua daschund mix, but was bigger than a typical chihuahua dachshund mix and seemed to be incorrectly identified. Keane said that her pet was not a planned companion for their original dog Bella, but rather a dog adopted out of a connection felt at the pet store.
“It doesn’t seem like it affected her honestly. It’s all she’s ever known, that’s why,” said Keane said.
If you’d like to adopt a pet, see the Hawaiian Humane Society at 2700 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, or research another shelter. Shelter pets are at risk of euthanization and over 2.6 million animals are euthanized nationally each year. If possible, adopt from a shelter before adopting from a breeder, as breeder pets are bred for demand and therefore less likely to be euthanized due to overpopulation.