It's hard to argue with the positive effects of dog ownership. They've been domesticated over generations to bond with humanity and can read expressions of humans in distress. As such, they've become a vital tool in helping people maintain their mental health. Dogs trigger releases of dopamine and they trigger bonding instinct in humans. Women who took functional MRI brain scans while looking at photos of their children and their pet dogs and were shown to have similar positive activity in their brains.
"We are all being affected by this, humans and animals. People are going to be in their homes a lot more and it can be depressing," said Erin Stanton, who operates Susie's Senior Dogs of New York. "Fostering can be something to do, something distracting. It doesn't have to be as depressing. It can be a win-win. Animals bring so much joy to people."
Well, we all need a little bit of cheer during this pandemic crisis. Most of us have been indoors for over a week and social media is awash with stories of anxiety and stress. We all need a little bit of a boost and we can also use an excuse to walk around the neighborhood. So why not consider a dog?
For many of us, having a full time pet isn't really an option, but this is a great time to foster a pet. Many shelters struggle to find space for all their animals and are happy to let people care for them in their homes until they can be adopted into a permanent living situation.
Here are some organizations that can help you foster a lovely dog for your home.
This nation-wide foster program has events in most major metropolitan areas that will introduce you to a dog or cat for your home.
Petfinder has several online resources to help people around the country find the right animal to share the quarantine with.
Partnering with famous pet experts like Jackson Galaxy and Victoria Stilwell, the Petco Foundation also teach affordable pet caring classes and, like most places on this list, accepts donations for you to help animals in need.