Find a furry friend during October’s “Adopt A Dog” Month

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October is “Adopt a Dog Month.”

Judith Gardner with the Arizona Animal Welfare League shared how adopting a new furry friend can be a great way to combat loneliness and lift spirits in these uncertain times.

“Anyone who has a pet in their home knows just how important that relationship is,” Gardner said. “There’s just so many benefits. And it’s been proven that it brings people’s blood pressure down, and it’s just a really good thing to have.”

Gardner emphasized the benefit of animals for senior citizens since it can be hard for them to see visitors due to COVID-19. She shared about her own experience with her mom adopting a dog and sharing countless stories about “little Violet.”

“It’s led us to bring some services together that we might not have thought of,” Gardner said.

Gardner and the Arizona Animal Welfare League opened up the first low-cost veterinary clinic in the Valley after receiving many calls from senior citizens who could not afford the costs of other clinics. Since it opened back in 2012, the clinic has seen over 10,000 patients.

“We wanted to give people who couldn’t afford it a place to go that we could take care of their pets for them and keep them in their home,” Gardner said.

Gardner also pointed out that dogs give senior citizens the motivation to go on walks with their dog outside and combat their depression in that way.

If people are looking to adopt a dog, Gardner says it’s important for people to choose a dog that compliments your level of physical activity, whether you are sitting on the couch or hiking every weekend.

“It’s not just a cute face in the picture, it has to be an animal that fits within your lifestyle,” Gardner said.

However, Gardner said the emotional bond of an animal is one that goes beyond lifestyle.

“Sometimes the pet chooses the person,” Gardner said. “All of a sudden there’s this connection that you cannot even explain. But it turns out to be a wonderful, lifelong connection.”

Judith Gardner, Arizona Animal Welfare League

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