Pet Adoption During the Winter Season


New addition to The Family: Cerbi’s joyful smile as his adoption is certified, and he can be taken to his new home, August 27, 2021.

Thomas Gauthier, Staff Writer

     Every year, the holiday season takes America by storm. People come together with friends and family to celebrate the season of giving and the various holidays it offers. The classic sight of children getting a puppy or kitten for Christmas is easily a childhood dream come true. 

     Each year between December and January, the average adoption rate rises 27%. During the Covid-19 pandemic, pet adoption rates have skyrocketed even more so. The American Humane Society reports an increase of more than 33% in overall pet adoption rates since the first lockdown excluding the 27% annual increase.

     Though the holiday break is exciting, it can be stress-inducing and chaotic. Since getting presents for loved ones and worrying about what they like is always a hassle, many adopt pets during the holidays because it can be considered by some to be an easy option, but one that comes with a long commitment 

     Adopting a pet is always a great idea as long as the right conditions are available. Beforehand, it is important to provide the right environment to the animal and make sure taking care of it is feasible.

     Pets are often abandoned because people can no longer take care of them, or they underestimated the very real commitment of caring for one. During the holidays, people tend to adopt on a whim. According to the American Humane Society, animals adopted during the holidays have a 25% higher risk of being abandoned. 

     Ms. Barbara Farrington, representative of the Milford Humane Society, a non-profit, non-kill organization, says “My shelter closes for the holidays to avoid the gift giving of pets and the spur of the moment choices. Adopting a pet should be a family choice with much thought to the 15-20 year commitment” 

     According to the American Pet Registry, about one in five households who did not previously have pets adopted over the past two years. 

     “During the worst of Covid we were inundated with people from all over CT  and out of state who suddenly had a desire to have a pet,” adds Farrington. “This made adoptions difficult to screen out the real desire and the people who adopt on a whim. For months we operated on an appointment basis.” 

     Deciding to adopt an animal with little thought is both detrimental to the person adopting the animal and the animal’s well-being. Lifestyle, housing, finances, and schedule are all major things to consider. 

     English Teacher and pet owner Ms. Chelsea Green says,“When my family decided to adopt our Dog, Cerbi, we spent weeks analyzing the logistics around dog ownership. What type of dog should we get? Should we adopt or buy? What supplies would we need? Adopting a dog is a huge responsibility, and we wanted to make sure we were completely prepared for the opportunity! If done correctly and responsibly, owning a pet can be an amazing thing, and a great addition to your family.” Some local adoption shelters in and around Milford are The Milford Animal Control, Murphy’s Paw Rescue, One More Dog Rescue, Toby’s Dream Dog Rescue, and The Animal Welfare Society.

     According to AP news, 30% of pet abandonment in recent years is due to people not being responsible and not being able to take care of a pet, yet they decided to get one anyway.

     The type and breed of animal is a big factor in commitment. Some dog breeds, such as huskies, tend to be hyperactive and require regular exercise. Other pets like gerbils or hamsters require less attention. 

     Taking care of an animal is much like taking care of a child. No matter what time of year you adopt a pet, the same thought and consideration should be taken.