The RSPCA says it hopes people in Lichfield and Burntwood will continue offering a new home for rescued animals – but has urged them to think about how they will care for them beyond the coronavirus crisis.
The charity said pets including dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets were being offered through a new virtual rehoming process.
With centres closed to the public because of the lockdown, prospective adopters can speak to RSPCA staff and meet animals via video conferencing and photo sharing – with pets then delivered by a staff member once the rehoming has been agreed.
But people thinking of giving pets a new home are being reminded that they need to ensure they can continue to care for them even when lockdown is over.
RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood said:
“As the battle against COVID-19 continues, our centres will once again be closed to the public as we all do our bit to stop the spread of this awful disease.
“However, we are delighted that we will continue to be able to find new homes for animals via a safe and COVID-secure remote process.
“Prospective adopters can meet our knowledgeable and friendly centre staff via video call, and discuss whether adding a rescue pet to their household could be the right long-term decision.
“We know lockdown life is not forever, so it’s so important people consider whether they are able to meet the needs of pets for the long term.
“There’s loads to think about – and we’d always urge people to do their research and understand the commitment they’re taking on.
“But if a new pet is right for both you and the animal – a rescue companion is an amazing, rewarding choice – and we’d urge anyone interested to check out our Find a Pet website to begin the rehoming journey.”Chris Sherwood, RSPCA
From 23rd March to 31st December last year, the charity’s pet rehoming website has seen visitor numbers rise by 68% compared to the same period in 2019.
But the numbers reporting concern for animals has also increased, with the RSPCA’s emergency line receiving more than 825,000 calls during the same period.
Dermot Murphy, head of the RSPCA’s rescue teams, said:
“Our officers, rescue teams, animal centres and frontline staff have shown remarkable resilience during this most testing time.Dermot Murphy, RSPCA
“We are approaching 900,000 calls since the start of the pandemic – which is a stark reminder that animal cruelty did not stop for coronavirus.
“There’s also thousands of animals in our care – but our teams continue to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome in new ways to help as many animals as possible.
“We cannot do this without the help of our amazing supporters – and anyone wishing to donate to the RSPCA can do so online.”