NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — During times of trouble, people often find comfort in a four-legged companion. Many New Yorkers have taken in quarantine pets, which is, of course, beneficial for all parties involved.
But rescues worry this could turn ugly when people get back to normal life once the coronavirus outbreak ends, CBS2’s Nina Kapur reported Wednesday.
They’ve only known each other for a week, but already “Cosmo” is helping his new mom, Meghan Mistry, find light and purpose in this trying time.
“When I’m feeling really down or really anxious about things, I can sort of just like hold him or he’ll nap with me and it does feel a lot better,” Mistry said.
Meghan, who lives in Brooklyn, said she’s always wanted a dog, but felt she could never commit enough time or attention to one. That is, until now.
“Finally, when I realized I’d be working from home, I decided if I want to get a dog, I want to go ahead and get the exact kind that I wanted at a young age, so I can train him and we can bond through the training,” Mistry said.
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Like so many others, Mistry had trouble finding a place to adopt during the quarantine. Shelters and rescues across New York state are experiencing a surge of interest like never before.
“I have never seen an increase in fostering like I have the last two weeks. We literally have our phone ringing off the hook with people willing to foster,” said Dori Scofield, president of Save-A-Pet Animal Rescue in Port Jefferson Station.
Scofield said she’s so happy to see animals finding new homes on Long Island because pets can provide immense support and comfort during times of uncertainty. However, many rescues fear when normalcy returns, people will no longer have the time.
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Guardians of Rescue president Robert Misseri said returning an animal hurts everyone involved, and puts a strain on the system.
“People just need to take a deep breath, don’t panic, and when our lives get back to normal, just find the time to make this work,” Misseri said. “And we need to take time and realize that this is a living being. It’s part of your family. Even if it’s for a short time, make it a long-term thing.”
While Mistry and Cosmo take virtual training lessons, she said she’s ahead to the future and already making plans for pet care when she returns to work so her time with the dog never has to end.
“It has been really fun. It has been really hard. But he’s so worth it. He’s so precious. He’s just a little boy. We’re having a good time,” Mistry said.
Mistry said she just hopes others will put the same thought and consideration into pet care, before taking one in.
Animal shelters and rescues still need your help. The mission to save and care for animals does not stop for anything, not even a global pandemic, and donations help keep that mission alive.