COVID-19 restrictions may have eased, but the demands on animal shelters across the Moreton Bay Region are rising sharply.
At the start of the shutdown, RSPCA Dakabin fostered out 40-50 animals, but animal care manager Claire McCarthy says they’re starting to ‘trickle back’.
Caboolture and District Animal Welfare Animal Co-ordinator Debbie Murphy says the organisation rehomed all its animals at the start of COVID-19, but 60 per cent are back.
It’s a disappointing trend reportedly mirrored at animal shelters far and wide.
“We still have about 25 (animals) out, but the shelter is back at full capacity of care,” Claire says.
“We always have animals in need of fostering. We had fewer surrendered to us during COVID when a lot of people were spending more time at home, but it’s starting to ramp up again.
“People are returning to work; finding their pet is not adjusting to spending time alone at home; some people unfortunately lose their job or cannot afford vet’s bills.”
Caboolture Animal Welfare “sold everything it had” at the start of the shutdown Debbie says, adding “it’s disappointing, but it’s going back to where things were”.
“Animals are being surrendered, as people go back to work. Most centres are getting back to being full again.”
Claire says there’s also been a spike in surrenders and emergency boarding for pets caught up in domestic violence (DV) situations.
RSPCA Queensland works with DV Connect’s Pets in Crisis, a program to provide pets in such situations with safe accommodation, food and care. “It’s been the saddest thing of the last few months,” Claire says.
There has, however, been some successes, such as Teddie, a 10-year-old female domestic short hair cat surrendered by her owner in late February.
She was placed with a foster family and settled quickly, as photos and videos showed. These were then used for a new virtual adoption process, which RSPCA Qld was creating at that time and as a result Teddie has found a forever home at Bracken Ridge.
“We had to think differently with the restrictions and social distancing,” Claire says, “we had to think outside the box. We had to act responsibly and think virtually.”
For adoptions and volunteer roles for animal care assistants, customer service, a gardener and laundry/donations sorting visit www.rspcaqld.org.au or phone 3480 6450.
Contact Caboolture and District Animal Welfare on Facebook or phone 0455 778166.
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