Pets Make Ideal Companions in the Age of Social Isolation

first_img Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * CITY NEWS SERVICE/STAFF REPORT Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Top of the News Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Community News My family is in our first week of our new normal. My son, James came home from his first year of university two weeks ago for what was to be spring break. Today, he resumed classes online from our dining room. He won’t be going back to New Haven this semester.My husband, Pierce has been working remotely for his company in Virginia since we moved to Pasadena in June, so working from home isn’t new to him. But having the entire family working from home is a big change for all of us.I was still going into the animal shelter to check on things every day until last Friday. I started to feel a little under the weather and realized I needed to heed the call we had made to all our staff…work from home if you can.You may have seen by now a video circulating on the Internet. We see a man listening to someone off camera who says, “Because of Coronavirus, you are going to be quarantined, but you have a choice. Do you ‘A’ quarantine with your wife and child, or ‘B’…” “‘B’, I’ll take ‘B’,” the man says, thinking no matter what “B” is, it must be better than “A.”For some of us, it’s easy to joke about the challenges of too much togetherness, but for others I worry about the dangers of being alone. While social distancing is an effective measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we need to be aware of the mental health risks of social isolation.As both a clinical social worker and an animal welfare professional, I’m concerned for the well-being of both our human and pet populations during this time. Homeless pets are going to continue to need care, and people are going to continue to need a sense of connection.Social isolation has been linked to numerous adverse health consequences including depression, poor sleep quality, impaired executive function, accelerated cognitive decline, poor cardiovascular function, impaired immunity and even the risk of premature death. But there is a solution that helps both person and pet.Research has demonstrated that the human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that positively influences the health and well-being of both. Having pet companions has been proven to improve mental health and offer people a deep sense of “ontological security” — that is, the feeling of stability, continuity, and meaning in one’s life.Research on the benefits of family life for shelter animals has shown that even a brief stay in a foster home for dogs decreases levels of cortisol, a hormonal indicator of stress.After closing our doors to people, but not to animals, at the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA (PHS), we shifted our efforts to finding temporary foster homes for as many pets as we can. We are asking the community to help us by providing foster care to homeless animals. If some of our local residents can foster an animal, we are able to function with fewer staff onsite, while still providing our animals with essential care. PHS is providing backup support. The benefits of getting the animals out of the shelter and into homes are obvious. The benefits to the humans providing the care are no less significant.Long before the CDC was educating people on how to keep safe during the current pandemic, the CDC was advising of the potential health benefits of pets, which include decreased blood pressure, triglyceride levels and feeling of loneliness. Pets can be helpful for chronic disease prevention in children. Having a dog in the home has been associated with a decreased probability of childhood anxiety. Pets also offer people of all ages increased opportunities for exercise, outdoor activities and socialization. The research is clear: pets enrich our lives and help keep us healthy and happy.Less scientifically and more personally, I can say having the unconditional love of my little dog Sueshi brings joy to my life every single day. Going out for a walk with her helps me to engage with my neighbors at a safe distance, while also providing a welcome break from my two-legged family members.We hope you can help us in our time of need. And in turn, we can help you by offering the rewards of having a pet companion in your life.Pasadena Humane Society’s president and CEO, Dia DuVernet, brings more than a decade of experience leading nonprofit organizations. She has an extensive background in organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life for the most vulnerable communities, most recently serving as Virginia Beach SPCA (VSPSCA) president and CEO and previously as vice president at The Up Center, a Virginia nonprofit organization improving the quality of life for children and families. Dia grew up in Albany, GA, the youngest of five girls. An animal lover from an early age, she grew up with a German Shepherd mix named Moses, a Pekingese called Missy and Puff the cat. 74 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it More Cool Stuff Community News Subscribe STAFF REPORT First Heatwave Expected Next Week center_img Opinion & Columnists Pets Make Ideal Companions in the Age of Social Isolation By DIA DUVERNET Published on Monday, April 6, 2020 | 2:03 pm faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyCitizen Service CenterPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Business News HerbeautyWhy Luxury Fashion Brands Are So ExpensiveHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyBohemian Summer: How To Wear The Boho Trend RightHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyCostume That Makes Actresses Beneath Practically UnrecognizableHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyWant To Seriously Cut On Sugar? 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