A silver lining has emerged during the current coronavirus pandemic. Animal shelters are reporting that their kennel doors are being flung open wide as pets are quickly adopted by those wanting to bond with a special friend.

“Furry friends give comfort to people in times of need, especially when we are dealing with fear, frustration and confusion. It gives a sense of self-worth to people knowing that they are making a positive difference,” said Angie Davis, executive director of Teller County Regional Animal Shelter.

Kennels at TCRAS are being kept open at this time providing a “give-give” opportunity for pets and people who are willing to step up and adopt them. Further information about fostering and adopting pets in Teller County can be found at tcrascolorado.org.

“Teller County is such a community supportive area,” Davis said. “We can’t do it without them. … Financial support is a huge relief for any nonprofit organization and our supporters have not let us down. Consequently, we have been able to move forward.”

Other Pikes Peak region shelters are also hard at work ensuring that relinquished, stray and abandoned animals are being responsibly adopted out, while carefully following pandemic safety protocols.

“This week we are continuing to monitor the situation and we are providing the safest atmosphere for our staff and doctors. … We are so grateful to the community for continuing to think of adoptions and wanting to adopt pets at this time,” said Gretchen Pressley, community relations manager for the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region in Colorado Springs.

It is likely that the heightened interest in adoption is due to families being all together, and having the time to contemplate and research making a new addition to the family, Pressley said.

During the week of March 23-29, HSPPR adopted out all available dogs and cats, and this trend is expected to continue. Pets continue to come in daily, although the community is encouraged to keep animals if possible during the crisis. HSPPR is conducting adoptions by appointment only at this time, and further information can be obtained at hsppr.org/appointment.

The Vanderwerf family recently adopted adorable terrier mix, Sandy, from HSPPR. Betsy Vanderwerf, who is a board member of HSPPR, said the 5-month-old Sandy has proven to be energetic, faithful, smart and easily trained. Sandy is now a companion to miniature schnauzer, Lilly, who was also adopted. “We’re serious dog owners, and thought we could give Sandy a good home,” said Vanderwerf, who notes that current inventory at HSPPR is low, but potential adopters can put a “choice hold” on a pet for a small fee.

At New Hope Rescue in Colorado Springs, pets are placed in foster care as they await adoption. Director Joann Roof explained the situation resulting from the pandemic, “What I have been finding is people are more willing to adopt and foster at this time. People are home and looking for companionship. We do have pets available for adoption with more on the way. We have several liters of puppies ready to be adopted.”

By going to the organization’s website, newhoperescue.homestead.com, photos and descriptions of available dogs and cats can be perused, and an application completed. Once an adoption is approved, the foster home will call pending adopters to answer questions and make a plan to meet the available pet.

A week ago, Megan Stiving and her husband, Dennis Wallace adopted a pit bull mix, Mia, from New Hope. Stiving found the adoption process to be user-friendly, and the people associated with New Hope Rescue to be informative, caring and kind.

Stiving said she is delighted with Mia, who is around 2-3 years old but acts like a puppy and always wants to play. There is an ever-ready smile on Mia’s “big, goofy face … she’s so darn cute,” said Stiving, who said she’s grateful that Mia gives her a reason to get up, get her day started and go outside during the stay-at-home order.

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