New York Magazine’s July 19–August 1, 2021, issue cover story looks at how adopting a dog in New York City became more competitive than getting into college. “We will probably look back on the class of pandemic dogs adopted in 2020 as the most desirable unwanted dogs of all time — the ultimate market-scarcity score for a slice of virtuous, privileged New York City,” Allie Conti (@allie_conti) writes.
Conti, a freelance writer whose work regularly appears in New York and the New York Times, tells Press Room: “The story was born from both my and New York features editor Marisa Carroll’s experience of trying to adopt a dog during the pandemic. I was denied several dogs, and while I knew intellectually that it was probably due to a supply-and-demand issue, I also had a hard time not taking it personally. What was I doing wrong? After speaking with people who run rescues and other rejected applicants, I realized this was an interesting economics story about what happens when the ability to enact charity becomes a luxury good. It was also a snapshot of a very weird phenomenon that was born of the pandemic and will likely never happen again.”
The cover star is named Jack, a two-year-old hound mix adopted by Tori and Paris in August 2020 through In Our Hands Rescue. All of the dogs photographed for the cover story were rescues; deputy photo editor Liana Blum and photographer Bobby Doherty posted on Instagram asking for submissions, and selected dogs that could pull off a discerning face — as if they were judging the reader, Blum says.