Pet Adoption During the Pandemic


It may not be surprising to hear that the coronavirus pandemic caused a surge in pet purchases and pet adoption applications in 2020. The increase of people self-isolating, combined with the fact that more companies are opting for a temporary work-from-home format, has given people more free time in their days and more likely to desire a furry companion by their side.

We think it’s great that more people are deciding to adopt, but experts are worried that the increase in pet adoptions during this pandemic will also cause an increase in animals being put up for adoption after the pandemic is over. They predict that the main cause of this is that prospective pet owners aren’t completely aware of how much work is needed to take good care of their pets. 

Some Hamilton rescue groups even suggest that 40% of dogs sold on Kijiji during the pandemic will end up in a shelter. This is because breeders are focussing on making money first, as some pets are being listed for four times more than average due to the increase in demand. Breeders with this strategy tend to be less worried about who the adopter is, and whether the candidate’s circumstances make them a suitable dog-parent.

If you’re looking to adopt a pet this year, Ruffin’s is here for you, and your potential pet. You must consider the following questions before you decide to adopt:

Are you sure you’re ready?

There is nothing wrong with wanting a pet to feel less lonely, but taking care of one won’t be easy. Effective pet owners ultimately understand that it could end up being at least a 15-year commitment, depending on how young the pet is, initially. The choice of raising a pet has its similarities to raising a child. You’re responsible for dedicating a large portion of your time to participate in their growth and well-being. It may even feel like a second job to some. 

Can you afford it?

There is only so much Ruffin’s can do to help make the journey as affordable as possible for you, but realistically, not everybody is in a financially-sound place to raise an animal and still maintain the same quality of life. Expenses for pets can really add up. Food, health care, leisure, grooming, etc. Make sure you plan your budget thoroughly before you choose to adopt a pet and don’t hesitate to ask us if you need help. 

There is also the expense of time. If you want to adopt a dog, do you have the time to walk it every day? Several times a day? If not, do you have the means to afford a dog walker? Is a dog even the right choice for you?

Are you only looking for a pandemic pal?

Do you see yourself being able to look after a pet next year? Three years from now? Ten years from now? If you’re only looking to adopt a pet for the pandemic with the plan of putting it up for adoption when you no longer need it, the right thing to do is to consider the long-term effects it can have on the animal. What if it becomes attached to you, but you can no longer be around as much as you were once able to? It would not be healthy for the pet and therefore, it would not be wise to adopt, if this is true for you. 

How has the pandemic affected the adoption process?

The adoption process has changed due to the restrictions placed during the pandemic. Organizations such as the Welland & Humane Society have had to adapt during this difficult time. Cat adoptions are being done over video calls, while dog adoptions have become tricky as in-person meetings are essential for the process. However, the number of surrenders and vet bills continue to grow. 


Pet ownership can be an enriching and rewarding experience, but it isn’t for everyone. Please make sure to consider your present circumstances along with the long-term commitments needed to be an effective pet-parent. If there’s anything you’re unsure about, or if you still have questions that weren’t answered here, contact us, and we’ll get back to you on time. We are here for you, and your new family members!

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