The trials of the COVID-19 lockdown have shown us the importance of companionship. So much so, that many animal rehoming centres were reported as being empty for the first time ever. But, as the boundaries of the lockdown begin to shift, the responsibilities of owning a pet have proven themselves to be too much for many.
Now, shelters around the world are reporting that pets adopted during this period are sadly being returned. A further consequence of lockdown and the economic strain, has also seen many puppies and kittens being advertised for sale to replace the money originally spent on them.
Bringing a pet into your home should not be taken lightly.
Pets are not toys, they are not guests, they are part of the family.
They should be treated as such.
Here are some tips on how to navigate these times:
Change in situation:
- Is it a situation where you must go back to work and need someone to take care of your pet during the day? If so, ask your company if you can bring your pet into work, or if you can work from home (many companies are now realising that this has benefits both for their staff and the company)
- Alternatively, there are doggy day-care centres, walkers, or family, friends and neighbours who may be willing to take care of your pet while you are away.
- Support is available in many countries to help you take care of your pet, such as food banks who often offer pet food. There are also charities who may be able to help with veterinary bills or short term sheltering depending on your situation
- Ask family and friends for help, people understand these are difficult times and most people will be happy to help
If after all this, you still need to find a new home for your pet:
- First, ask family and friends if they can help
- If they can’t, find a reputable rehoming organisation or fostering service.