I believe there's a deep relation between the increase in loneliness, alienation and pet keeping. Because of social evolution ( Capitalism and its impacts), people are getting mean day by day. The sense of "ME" and "MINE" is increasing. Almost everyone is carrying GREED within them and we have left our sweet emotions behind. We are prioritizing material over the price-less non-material things like care, love and empathy. And when we find Coldness everywhere and people with a huge sense of ME and MINE running after material things to put a TAG of MINE on them ; then we miss warm touch and care kind of things. To eradicate this loneliness, people tend to keep a speechless animal with them.
See how Homo Sapiens are failing to fulfill the emotional needs of each other and animals are better than them!!!