Animal adoptions brighten life during pandemic

More time at home means more time to welcome furry family members

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The novel coronavirus has meant a lot more time at home for many people, which has some perks — including an increase in pet adoptions.

“Since we knew we'd be home all summer, and since we limit how much going out and about we do now, we thought it was a good time to get a puppy,” said Jennie Shipman of Littleton. She and her family adopted a 9-week-old collie puppy named Lucky to keep themselves busy during a long summer at home.

“Having Lucky here brings a lot of joy to our home,” Shipman said. “He is a great reason to put our electronics away and devote our time to doing things with him.Our kids are surprised by how much energy he has, and everything he has to learn.”

For shelters like Littleton's Humane Society of The South Platte Valley, the pandemic means heightened cleaning measures and a limit on volunteers, but they stand ready to facilitate adoptions — now by appointment.

“In Colorado in general, there are lots of humans looking to adopt their new friends” said Kelsey Kennelly, the center's outreach director. “It's a good place to be for homeless animals.”

She believes the increased time at home has led to more adoptions.

“For people who are at home more than they would normally be, one of the most obvious benefits is being able to help the animal get situated in its first few nights, weeks and months in a new environment,” Kennelly said. “By being physically there with the animal as they adjust, adopters are able to monitor the animal's behavior more closely and ensure they are on the path to success.”

Lillian Fuglei is a senior at Heritage High School in Littleton.

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