More Americans have been adopting animals amid coronavirus concerns and Pedigree is now helping to foster even more connections through a new digital program. The pet food company launched its Dogs on Zoom program through a partnership with the Nashville Humane Society. Pedigree plans to expand the program to other shelters in the near future.
The idea of the program was to enable more adoptions while maintaining social distance. People can pick out a dog without visiting the shelter and the animal will be delivered to the home via curbside dropoff, according to Pedigree’s website. Pedigree is also covering the fees for any dogs adopted through this pilot Zoom program.
Here’s what you need to know:
Animal Shelter Workers Can Answer Questions to Help Families Select the Right Dog
Pedigree began the program by teaming up with the Nashville Humane Society. People interested in adopting a dog can join the pre-scheduled virtual event by clicking on a link from Pedigree’s site. Tonight, May 13, is the final Zoom call in Nashville and it begins at 5 p.m. CST (6 p.m. ET). You can join the call here.
The dogs available for adoption will be visible on the screen. Shelter employees will also participate in the call in order to answer questions about specific dogs. This is an important step in the process because it’s difficult to determine a dog’s personality just by looking at the animal on a screen. For example, if a family is looking for a more active dog that is comfortable around children, a worker can help to identify which animal is more appropriate. On the flip side, if a prospective adopter lives in a high-rise apartment and needs a more relaxed animal, the shelter can identify that animal as well.
Heavy reached out to Pedigree about whether the dogs are available only to people who live near the participating shelter. The company noted on its website that more participating shelters will be announced soon. If the next organization is located in, for example, Dallas, will those dogs only be available to people who live within the Dallas metropolitan area? We spoke with a Pedigree representative who promised to find an answer to that question. This post will be updated once we hear back.
There are no in-person meetings planned before the adoption takes place. The dogs will be delivered to their new home dropped off outside of the house in order to abide by social distancing guidelines. Heavy has asked whether Pedigree is concerned about animals being returned to the shelters if the family decides the specific dog was not a good fit or if there is a backup plan in place. We’ll add Pedigree’s answer once we heard back.
Consider Time, Finances & Why You Want a Dog Before Making the Commitment
Before deciding to adopt a new pet, animal organizations and experts say families and individuals need to consider multiple factors such as the time and financial commitment. Pedigree has a section on its website with questions people should think about before bringing a dog home. For example:
For a dog waiting for his “forever” home, it’s always a good time to be adopted. But don’t let him down by bringing him home, and then deciding that it’s simply not the right time for you. Dogs take lots of care and attention – and that means time – especially when they first come home.
Is this the right time in your life to take on this huge commitment? Does your lifestyle allow for the flexibility it takes to acclimate your new dog into your life? Are your current commitments overwhelming, or very manageable?
People who are working from home have a lot of time for a new dog right now, but that could change once restrictions are eased and workers begin to spend more time away from the house again. The executive director of the Human Animal Bond Research Institute, Steven Feldman told Heavy, “If you are thinking about adopting a pet, make sure you do your homework. Consider the time, lifestyle and cost factors. Remember, the more time and effort you put into the relationship with a pet, the greater the reward, including the health benefits of the human-animal bond.”
The health benefits Feldman is referencing include reduced anxiety and cardiovascular issues. The Human Animal Bond Research Institute also found in a recent survey that dogs can help to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. You can read more about that research by clicking on the link below.
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