Adopting pets during pandemic helps students’ mental health


Macy Hutfless

Petting her bearded dragon, Apollo, in her room, sophomore Macy Hutfless enjoys quality time with her exotic pet that she got on July 19 to have a friendly companion during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sophie Bacon, Reporter

One common feeling among many people during the global pandemic was the feeling of extreme sadness and loneliness. To cope with these feelings, many people bought pets. Having a furry friend, or in this case an exotic pet, helped sophomore Macy Hutfless through the pandemic.

“I didn’t plan on getting a new pet, but I walked into Pet Smart and saw him in the case and just knew I had to have him,” Hutfless said. “We had a staring contest and I knew this breaded dragon was going to be my forever friend.”

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), has reported a 500 percent increase in foster applications through their Los Angeles and New York offices since March 15, according to

“I’m not surprised with the rise in adoptions, a pet is the best thing to get anyone through a pandemic,” Hutfless said. “They will lay with you and you can pet them. They are a huge stress reliever.”

Sophomore Jessica Conway also got a pet, a rabbit.

“I adopted a bunny because I wanted something to keep me busy,” Conway said. “It was kind of a quick decision and I didn’t fully know what I was getting into, but it has been a great learning experience.”

According to a study done by the Mental Health foundation in the UK in 2011, 76 percent of people who owned pets, specifically a cat, reported being able to cope with every day life much easier because of their pet.

“I want a thousand more bearded dragons,” Hutfless said. “If I had the room or the time to raise them I would have so many more pets.”