Experts warn against ‘impulse decisions’ with pet adoptions on the rise
KITCHENER -- With many people wanting to add a furry loved one to their family with stay-at-home COVID-19 measures in place, experts are asking people to think about the long-term factors.
Amy Clark says that she considered these when she adopted two cats this week, Luna and Nala.
“The pandemic came and we were called to foster. We fell in love with these two squishy-faced kitties and decided to keep them,” says Clark.
Animal shelters and hospitals are both reporting a surge in adoptions.
“Over the course of the last few days we have seen about 70 applications come through, so that is very busy for us,” says Calla James with the Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society.
While dozens of animals are being adopted across Waterloo Region, experts say many factors need to be considered before bringing a new pet into your home, like whether you can properly care for it once you go back to work.
A fear for Cambridge veterinarian Dr. Kathy Hrinivich is that animals will end up back in the shelter system after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a 15 to 20 year commitment, animals are expensive, their care is expensive. You have to think post-COVID,” says Hrinivich.
New pets may become dependent on their owner being home all the time.
“They’re getting used to that, then once people go back to work, then the separation anxiety. They’re going to not know how to cope without their human there constantly,” says veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Madden.
Experts say to make the future transition easier, factor in alone-time for your new pet now to help them build independence.
“If it’s in a separate room in the house, or you go out for a walk by yourself,” suggest Madden.
Clark, who is an educator at the humane society, weighed the pros and cons before making the commitment.
“When I do go back to work, I’m on night shift. So, I’m gone at night, I’m here during the day. There’s always someone here,” she explains.
Adding a new pet to your family is a major life change and experts say it shouldn’t be done just to make stay at home orders easier to handle.