The Impact of an Animal
Animals can affect and impact people’s lives in many different shapes and forms.
Animals are a considerably important part of humans’ lives for many people. Whether it is a farm animal, a service dog, a foster animal or a class pet, most everyone has had an animal in their lives at some point. Even if someone does not personally own one, they are still a part of people’s lives.
“I think animals are companions that give unconditional love, entertainment and are great cuddlers,” Julie Housley, education organizer for the Humane Society of Missouri, said.
Animals are one of humans’ number one choices for companions. According to the American Pet Product Association (APPA), approximately 70 to 80 million dogs and 74 to 96 million cats live in homes with people in the United States. According to The Top Tens, humans’ number one choice of animals is dogs and cats are the second choice.
“I have a coworker and their son brings his dog everywhere,” Housley said. “It is a different kind of bond between a person and their dog.”
According to studies done by the National Center for Health Research, the interactions between animals and humans can help reduce stress and the feeling of isolation. Also, Anita Watkins, staff veterinarian at Harvester Animal Clinic, says that they even help lower humans’ blood pressure. People need socialization and so do animals, and pets can help people struggling with depression by giving the person a sense of purpose and increase self-confidence.
“Animals engage their owners in stuff and help their owners get through a rough time just by loving them,” junior Amanda Denno said.
Adopting pets is important, according to Housley, because many do not have homes. To put it in perspective, if everyone adopted the amount of pets alive now, they would each have 15 dogs and 45 cats, according to the Humane Society.
Before adopting a pet, Watkins suggests that people look at their lifestyle. They are a lifetime commitment and it costs money to take care of them. Watkins says people should not rush into the decision, they need to seriously consider if it is the right choice for them. For the people that it is the right choice, she says the relationship is similar to a parent and a child or a really good friend.
“I just think that life is not complete without an animal,” Watkins said.