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Pandemic loneliness leads locals to adopt pets

Updated: Jan 7, 2021

Stuck in the middle of a pandemic, some Americans are spending a lot more time at home. 

More alone time sometimes leads to loneliness. To quell that loneliness, some people have taken steps to adopt pets. 

New litter at Mayfield Graves

At the beginning of the pandemic, there was an initial surge in pet adoptions, but that has leveled off.

Coronavirus-related restrictions mean shelters are only taking in the most at-risk animals, The Associated Press reports. 

Since that surge, adoptions are down from a year ago, according to the AP. 

Alex Stratton at the Mayfield Graves Animal Shelter said business has been “kinda regular.”

Stratton letting one Mayfield Graves resident run

“Business ramped up a little bit when COVID hit,” Stratton said. Since then, adoptions have gone back to normal.

Tori Irish’s life has changed in almost every way since the coronavirus hit the U.S. Irish got married and moved to another state. 

Her husband is an Army Combat Engineer, which means he’s at work all day, and she felt those pangs of loneliness. 

“I was just so lonely, so he said, ‘why don’t we go get a dog?’”


The daycare Irish had worked at closed because of the pandemic, so she felt it was the perfect time to get a puppy. 

Her reasoning? She'd have plenty of time to spend with the new puppy and he'd be good company.

“He is literally the best dog ever, and I do think that’s because we got to spend so much time with him as a puppy,” Irish says of their Pit Bull Dachshund mix, Flynn. 

That wasn’t enough, though. Irish says she missed having a cat, too, so they revisited the idea and headed back to the shelter to pick out their cat, Mango.


Irish says she is looking forward to going back to work, but in the meantime, she's excited about her new pets.

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