Pets: Hope Found in a Time of Doubt


Emma Tincher

With all the unpredictable changes happening, due to COVID-19, we have seen a significant rise in mental health struggles. With the loss of social interaction, people are beginning to feel isolated and alone. But, with the extra free time people have experienced, they have looked to their pets for security and happiness.

Studies show that “Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets” and additionally that, “[p]laying with a dog or cat can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax” (

We can all agree that this time has brought stress and anxiety, but our pets have helped ground us and keep us healthy. Pet owners have trusted in their pets to bring them happiness and fun things to look forward to.

For Saint Joe pet owners, we see a common theme in looking to their pets for activities to keep them occupied. Senior Lizzy Raster said, “My dog helped me get out and exercise on walks.” Dogs, such as Lizzy’s, help people stay active and have fun while doing it. Staying active during these long days is important in order to keep your mind and body healthy. 

Senior Sammie Jurkovic states, “My dog, Norman, kept me company when I was alone. I would wake up by his side every morning and fall asleep next to him every night. He truly is my best friend.” Having company during this time was all that one could ask for and, for Sammie, finding it in someone she knew was not going to leave her side was comforting. 

People have found so much joy from their pets during these uncertain times and will continue to as we journey through this virus. Pets give people a reason to get up in the morning and exercise during the day, while having fun. The happiness that our pets give us will push us through these hard times and help us find hope in a world full of doubt.