Getting a Boost from Animal Friends
Written by: Amy Kerrigan, Community Education Specialist
During the pandemic, lockdowns and isolation adversely affected many people. Activities were cancelled and routines were changed. Bianca Tropeano is one such person who noticed a dramatic change in her life. “How did Covid affect my life during the past year? Covid really put my plans on hold.”
Bianca is competitively employed by the Champaign Co Board of DD. And just like many others, she was unable to go to her job for quite a long time.
But Bianca found a way to keep her spirits up and stay busy with new plans. She found activity and fun with her pets. “Covid didn’t really stopped me having fun because I hang out at home with my cat, Lily, and a dog we are fostering named Cy,” said Bianca. She certainly was lucky to have those furry friends around.
The stories of Lily and Cy began when Bianca attended a cat show in Dayton, OH. She saw Lily and spent half her Christmas money to buy the cuddly kitten. Later, Bianca’s family was asked to foster an Alaskan Malamute named Cy. He kept running away from his old home and was eventually sent to the pound. Bianca’s family saved him by taking him in as a foster pet.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention), There are several healthy benefits to having pets. The CDC’s website says, “Studies have shown that the bond between people and their pets can increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness to their owners.”
Bianca did not have to conduct a scientific study to notice the same affects. She says, “I hang out with my cat and give her cuddles and love if she shows me that she needs it . When I don’t give her my all, I feel heartless and sad. And when I do give her my all I feel much better. I hang out with [my foster] dog. His name is Cy. My cat and my dog help me to not feel sad, and [they] make me not to feel [like] I’m not doing enough.”
After experiencing pandemic isolation, Bianca is the first to admit how important her furry friends are. “Animals [are] anyone’s best friends... and [animals] give anyone a piece of mind. So that’s how animals help me through emotional and support through difficult times.”
The Champaign Co Board of Developmental Disabilities thanks Bianca Tropeano for sharing her experience. We hope that many more people can find comfort and purpose in their homes with their own pets.