Pets in the Pandemic

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Pet owner sitting in the driver seat with mask on while dig sits in the back seat and sticking his head out of the window.
Carly Morris waits with her dog Trouble before Trouble is vaccinated at a drive-through pet vaccine clinic at Mission Viejo, Calif.  ( Mario Tama via Getty Images)

Many found having a pet to be a lifesaver during the pandemic. As pet adoptions skyrocketed, dogs, cats and other pets became hard to find. One animal adoption agency recorded a 900% increase in requests to foster a dog in the early days of the pandemic. And on the other end of the spectrum, the American Humane Society estimates that up to 10 million pets may be surrendered because of the economic strain on owners during the pandemic. With owners staying home 24/7, it seemed like a perfect world for our pets. But was it? And now that the world is slowly reopening, what will life be like for the pets we leave at home? We’ll examine the pandemic’s impact on our pets.


Dr. Melissa Bain, professor of Clinical Animal Behavior, U.C. Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Sherri Franklin, founder, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue

Jennifer Scarlett, veterinarian and president, San Francisco SPCA