Second Chance Animal Rescue want people to understand what it takes to own a pet.

By Steph McNicol

AN increase of pets being adopted since the outbreak of COVID-19 has sparked an important message by Second Chance Animal Rescue that pets are a life-time commitment.

Shelter founder and chief executive Marisa Debattista said bringing new pets into the home wasn’t just something to pass the time during isolation.

“The main thing to keep in mind is that this is a life-time decision. Bringing an animal into the home just for isolation and not considering them as a part of your family is a bad idea,” she said.

“Pets cost money, and they take time to look after. You need to make sure they’re happy and healthy.”

Ms Debattista said animals needed routine to be happy and comfortable, just like people.

“Animals need routine, just like us, and they need stability. Right now while people are home they’re spending almost 24 hours a day with their pets,” she said.

“When people start going back to work, so many dogs will start to get anxiety because they won’t understand why they’re being left alone.

“This can cause behavioural issues, so it’s important people desensitise their pets before getting back to normal life. This might mean following normal routine behaviours, like leaving the house for a bit.”

Ms Debattista said it would be a good idea to get them treats or toys to reward them for spending time on their own at home.

The shelter founder said they had received an increase of about 40 per cent of adoption phone calls.

“It’s not really concerning at the moment, we still go through our standard adoption process and make sure the pets are a good fit for the homes,” she said.

“It’s really important people consider the long term repercussions of getting a pet during isolation and work out a plan to follow some normal routines for life after COVID-19.”

Ms Debattista said while their volunteers were currently not spending time at the shelters due to COVID-19, the organisation was always in need of support from the community.

“To keep these animals safe and happy before they find their homes, we need to keep our doors open. We’re always accepting donations and happy to accept new volunteers after COVID-19,” she said.