Adoption/Purchasing Rates: Did they rise in our valley during quarantine?


Photo courtesy of Alika Bassi

Alika Bassi’, freshman at AHS’s new puppy.

At the beginning of quarantine, Jen Heartly, a local parent of a 7th grader, flew all the way to Ohio to get her new dog, Lucci, a Bernese Mountain Dog – Poodle mix. 

According to CNBC News, 33% of Americans considered getting a pet during quarantine. Adoption and purchasing rates went up everywhere, including in our Roaring Fork Valley.  Nadia Thornely, a local Freshman at AHS, adopted her dog during quarantine. 

“My mom never really thought of herself as a dog person, but we talked to her. We were like, if we get a dog it’ll help us throughout quarantine. And we thought it’d be a good time to have a puppy because we’re not traveling or anything. [Quarantine had] a really big impact of getting him.” Thornely said.

The Thornley’s, among many others, took quarantine as a chance to get a new pet. Seth Sachson of the Aspen Animal Shelter said he saw an increase in adoptions during quarantine would also suggest adopting. 

“A lot of people have more time on their hands. They’re spending more time with their families, they’re exercising more.” Sachson said, “So, although it’s been a horrible time, for many it seems that quite a few people in the Roaring Fork Valley, have actually enhanced their quality of life, and whether it be exercising or spending time with their family or spending time with their pets I’ve noticed that that that has taken place.” 

But as life returns to normal, the extra time once had is decreasing, and it may become more difficult to take care of a puppy. 

“It has been a little bit different because sometimes I have to take care of him during the school days, and I can’t do my classes. It’s harder to do.” Thornely said.

But Jen Heartly, a local parent, is having less trouble with her new puppy as life gets busier. 

“I work from home. And because we were with her the whole time, she’s a really really well-behaved dog. You know I think because we had so much time at home with her during the quarantine.” Heartly said.