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Pandemic drives up pet adoptions, animal abandonment: rescue group

Last Updated Dec 22, 2020 at 12:05 pm PDT

(iStock Photo)
Summary

The pandemic has brought on feelings of loneliness for some, prompting many to look for companionship in a new pet 

Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association says pet adoptions are up, but so are abandonments

VOKRA tries to avoid arranging adoptions during the holiday season and urges against giving pets as a gift

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A local kitten rescue has never been busier while it seems many people have searched for companionship in pets during the pandemic.

Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association’s Karen Duncan says more people have been adopting pets, but there has also been an uptick in abandoned animals.

RELATED: Three kittens abandoned at BC SPCA in freezer bag

“There are a lot more people who have wanted to adopt. It’s been a good time — sort of — to adopt because people are home,” she said. “They can spend a lot of time settling an animal into their home and learning about it.”

Duncan said she’s worried about what will happen to all the new pets once people start returning to work regularly again. Her organization is already being notified of a greater number of pets being abandoned than usual.

RELATED: Canadians to collectively lose $3M in pandemic-related pet scams: Better Business Bureau

The increased number of people losing their jobs or being forced to move during the pandemic, has led to more people abandoning or giving up their pets.

“We’ve done a lot of work to pick up cats on the street that have been left behind by people who have just left,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of people needing help finding assistance for veterinary care.”

VOKRA tries to avoid arranging adoptions during the holiday season and urges against giving pets as a gift.