Fostering A Shelter Dog During The Pandemic Can Save Animals And Benefit Mental Health

Shelter dogs need help more than ever with many rescues low on staff.

A dog sits on a sofa.
Dominic Buccilli / Pexels

Shelter dogs need help more than ever with many rescues low on staff.

Taking in a shelter dog during this coronavirus pandemic can ultimately benefit not only the animal itself but the mental well being of the human. Shelter dogs need help more than ever during this time of uncertainty and the companionship can help cheer up and de-stress those who are forced into isolation, according to Today.

With everything that has been going with the outbreak, far less adoptions are taking place. Adoption events that would help match animals with the right owner have also been cancelled due to the need for social distancing. Many of the volunteers and staff members at rescues and shelters are not able to come into work and give these animals the care they need. Thus, taking in a foster dog at this time could ultimately save its life.

Robin Ganzert, the president and CEO of the nonprofit American Humane, explained just how much help is needed at shelters right now.

“In times like these, shelters are going to be absolutely swamped with a tremendous number of pets. We have to be able to provide safety valves for those shelters to release some of their populations into fostering homes. Truly, we are in a major crisis for animal shelters and for rescue groups.”

Taking in a shelter animal could be especially valuable to those such as older people who are confined to their homes and cannot visit with their family members. Studies have even shown that animals can help prevent anxiety and depression. Caring for an animal can help give a person a sense of purpose, even if they are unable to go to work or go about their daily routine.

“We just don’t want people to feel alone, and when you have an animal in your life, you’re never feeling alone,” Ganzert explained.

There have been many rumors regarding whether or not animals can spread the coronavirus. In fact, fear of pets spreading the virus has led to their killing in other countries like China. It is important to note that while there have been animals that have tested positive for the virus, the World Health Organization has maintained that animals cannot spread COVID-19 to humans, as The Inquisitr previously reported. Rather, the virus is spread when droplets are expelled as a person coughs or sneezes.

“These companion animals are only going to help make us healthier. They’re going to remove anxiety and (the stress hormone) cortisol from our bodies and allow us to have stronger immune systems, quite frankly, to fight the pandemic,” Ganzert emphasized.