Looking to Adopt a Puppy During the Pandemic? Consider This First

December 15, 2020

Corgi on box

Despite the constant grim news throughout 2020, one bright spot was that many families chose to adopt or foster a pet this year. The ASPCA reported an increased interest in fostering animals in need and many shelters across the country have experienced more people looking to adopt animals as well.

But in the middle of all this puppy fever, shelters and rescues aren’t the only ones reporting more families coming to them looking for a pet. 

Pet stores (both storefronts and online) have benefited from all the headlines touting the pros of bringing home a new pet amid the pandemic. They are adding home deliveries and additional financing options, as well as offering any breed on demand. These “deals” have proven hard to resist for many families. Shelters and rescues are working hard to get animals into safe, loving homes while taking necessary precautions to keep their staff, volunteers and the public safe. Even as they adapt their policies in response to COVID-19, animal welfare organizations are still following effective protocols to ensure pets match their adopters' lifestyles, even when their guardians return to a post-pandemic schedule.

No dog lover wants to support the cruel practices that make pet store and online puppies so accessible. Puppies don’t grow on trees. In the case of pet stores and online sellers, they come from puppy mills that prioritize profit above all else. Yes, the puppy might get a great, loving home. But their mom? She’s staying put, spending her life in a cage churning out puppies as long as there is a market for them.

While the public's desire to support their local shelters by fostering or adopting vulnerable animals has resulted in many animals finding homes during the pandemic, there are still hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats across the country who are currently in shelters, rescues and foster care. If you are looking for a dog and haven’t found one yet at your local shelter or rescue organization, the best way to show your love for animals this holiday season might be to wait. Instead of acquiring a puppy from a questionable source, take some time to do your research and learn how you can avoid cruelty.