A glimmer of positive news amid the coronavirus crisis: the number of pets being adopted has soared in these strange and scary times.
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home say they saw a massive increase in their rehoming figures since the virus was declared a pandemic.
In the week of 16 March to 22 March, more than 150 animals were adopted from Battersea – 86 dogs and 69 cats.
That’s more than double the number of animals finding loving homes in the same week last year, when 42 dogs and 29 cats were adopted from the shelter.
This is a good time to welcome a new pet, as the new normal of lockdown and working from home means people are able to spend more time with a cat or dog to help them settle in – although dog owners have been warned not to spoil their pet during this period.
It’s also vital that people don’t think of a pet as ‘just for lockdown’. Any animals adopted must be for life, not just for the pandemic.
One of the animals adopted in this past week is Tulip, a four-year-old mongrel who had been at Battersea for 110 days.
Tulip came in as a stray and had some anxieties that the team worked on with her, and her story came to a happy ending when she finally got the call up that there was a suitable home for her.
And Smudge, a ten-year-old black and white cat, found a loving home after spending two weeks at Battersea.
Battersea’s Head of Operations, Rob Young, said: ‘We want to thank all these new owners for thinking of rescue pets at such a challenging time.
‘All three of our Battersea centres are now closed to the public, but many of our animals are now in loving homes or out on temporary foster with our staff and volunteers.
‘Battersea are still caring for around 100 animals at our three centres and working hard to ensure each and every dog and cat continues to get the treatment, care, love, play and interaction they need.
‘Those wishing to rehome a dog or cat are welcome to fill out a rehoming application on our website and, as soon as we’re able, we’ll be reopening and working to continue finding new homes for our wonderful animals.