Kong, whose handsome face was shared in a Friday, April 1, post on the BC SPCA Facebook page, is up for adoption at the Nanaimo branch. (BC SPCA/Facebook image)

Kong, whose handsome face was shared in a Friday, April 1, post on the BC SPCA Facebook page, is up for adoption at the Nanaimo branch. (BC SPCA/Facebook image)

Pandemic increases demand for furry companionship in Shuswap, across province

BC SPCA can receive up to 100 applications for the same animal

Social challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic may be behind an increased demand for furry companionship in the Shuswap and throughout the province.

In 2020, the BC SPCA adopted out more than 10,000 animals, including dogs and cats, rabbits and other small animals, as well as farm animals. Lorie Chortyk, general manager of community relations for the organization, said moving adoptions online may be part of the reason for the higher number of applications for pet adoptions received last year.

“But I think the isolation of COVID-19 also meant that more people were seeking the companionship of a pet,” said Chortyk, noting the organization can receive multiple applications – sometimes up to 100 – for the same pet.

“That being said, there are always animals in our care in need of good homes, so we don’t want to discourage people from applying – new animals come into our care every day,” said Chortyk.

Victoria Olynik, manager of the Shuswap branch of the BC SPCA, said she has seen locally an upswing in demand for pets as mentioned by Chortyk.

Read more: Shuswap BC SPCA’s inseparable pair of akbash dogs given home

Read more: Five newborn cats stolen from Abbotsford have been returned

“We often receive multiple applications for animals too, and not necessarily from people who live in the Shuswap,” commented Olynik, adding the BC SPCA discourages non-essential travel, and follows public health guidelines during the pandemic.

“We find the “best match” home based on individual animal needs and schedule appointments for people to meet our animals.”

Olynik encouraged anyone looking for a pet to research the breed prior to adoption, that they make time for housetraining and socializing them, and see a vet for necessary vaccinations in order to help the pet adjust to the new home and live a healthy life.


lachlan@saobserver.net
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