October 23, 2020

Dear Friends of the Animals

A local pet parent recently wrote a loving tribute to her dog and best friend, Buddy Dass “Budderball” published in the Spectator. She shared too her fear that pet adopters in the Times of COVID might surrender their new family members when the pandemic subsides; others are concerned that families will discover the “burden” of care required to integrate their new family member at home, and change their minds. She is not alone. There has been lots of talk about “pandemic” adoptions and the potential for animals to find themselves homeless again.

As people return to work and the classroom, or find themselves busier at home with work, home schooling, or family care, the HBSPCA has not experienced a high number of returns to shelter. Of 365 recent adoptions, 3 pets have been returned. Two families experienced unexpected allergies with cats; a third kitten returned to shelter due to an unexpected health issue.

Societies and rescue groups continue to rehome animals with the same care and diligence as prior the Times of COVID. The best match is always the goal. At the HBSPCA, pet history where known, shelter journey and health recovery, and videos and pictures are shared, and the readiness and expectations of adopters are explored.  Adopters get a “crash” course in animal behaviour and socialisation. Black cats, three-legged companions, middle aged pets, and special needs pets have all been rehomed in the Times of COVID. And Staff are ready to help pets and families adapt together at home.

Its well known that demand for some pet companions – for example puppies – is greater than availability. We advise all prospective adopters to be curious, ask lots of questions of the shelter or caregiver, and be honest about lifestyle and expectations. A helpful resource when approaching breeders, or available pets in the neighbourhoods is available from our friends at Humane Canada and can be found here 

It is concerning that for some families, the Times of COVID test pet parents’ ability to care for their long-time pets. The HBSPCA is here to help. Pets belong at home where they are safe and loved. It just makes good sense to support pet families keep their pets rather than admit them to shelter, breaking bonds that are positive for families and pets. Pets and people are indeed a healthy combination.

Donor support keeps people and pets together in many ways.

  • Ambulatory care prevents unnecessary admission to shelter.
  • Low cost spay/neuter surgeries keep pets healthy and prevent abandonment and overpopulation.
  • Low cost rabies vaccinations keep everyone healthy.
  • Heartworm treatment gets dogs healthy and home.
  • And donor support keeps the Companion Animal Hospital open on Sundays to spay/neuter street cats.

Donors make a difference every day. Thank you.