By Jessica Easthope
How could you resist the face of an adorable dog or cat? Right now, not many people can.
At Bobbi & the Strays in Glendale, Queens, cats and dogs are on the move, from the shelter into the loving arms of their new owners.
“There are a lot of people who want to adopt and rescue and they’re asking for older animals which is a great thing,” said Bobbi Giordano, the owner of Bobbi & the Strays.
Since the pandemic, adoptions at the shelter have spiked. From March to August of 2019, 207 animals were adopted. In that same time this year, there have been 233 adoptions. As for the reason for the spike, Bobbi has a few theories about why people can’t walk away from the animals.
“They’re lonely, they’re home, their outside life is not what it used to be and they want companions,” Bobbi said.
For Bobbie, what’s even more important than an increase in adoptions is a decrease in people returning younger dogs. From March to August of last year, 20 animals adopted from the shelter were returned. This year that number was cut in half.
Bobbi and her staff say taking care of the animals is their calling, and the compassion they feel toward them is tied to their faith.
“I do believe in God, and I believe that he sent these animals here to me. That this is my calling,” said Bobbi.
“I feel that God gives me the energy, he gives me the strength, I really do, and I’m going to continue doing this for as long as I can. I might not be able to save the world but I’m going to try,” said Jeanine Farias, an employee at the shelter.
Though Bobbi & the Strays has saved many lives over the years, the staff says the animals save them right back by giving them a purpose. That was the case with Buddy.
“A man called me up and asked me to take a dog he found in the park, and then when he came here he said his wife had him in the basement and he was afraid to get arrested because of how he looked. He never had a haircut or anything and I had to take him,” Bobbi said.
Bobbi says the pandemic is helping people understand what her animals taught her long ago: “You need them more than they need you.”