The Impact of Covid-19 on Animal Rescue Charities

Posted 3 Weeks Ago

Job losses, changing schedules and financial pressures post-lockdown have left many unable to afford the time, money and commitment to care for a pet. Rescue centres have reported a rise in the number of animals being brought in, with Dogs Trust anticipating up to 40,000 dogs being made homeless.

The Impact of Covid-19 on Animal Rescue Charities

Pets have provided comfort, companionship and routine for many households during lockdown. But with daily duties resuming, some animal owners now find themselves unable to look after their furry friends. As rescue charities prepare for even more unwanted pets, we can all find ways to offer support.

How has Covid-19 Affected UK Animal Charities?

Job losses, changing schedules and financial pressures post-lockdown have left many unable to afford the time, money and commitment to care for a pet. Rescue centres have reported a rise in the number of animals being brought in, with Dogs Trust anticipating up to 40,000 dogs being made homeless.

Charities have also had to cope with falls in revenue, resources and voluntary support. Several have closed permanently with an uncertain future awaiting those that remain open. Battersea Dogs and Cats Home have recently announced an expected loss of £11 million within the next 18 months.

Despite these concerns, there have been signs of hope. At the start of lockdown, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home saw a surge in adoptions as people sought creature comforts to help ease self-isolation. The likes of Meghan Markle, Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez were seen praising their rescued pooches on social media, while pet ‘Zoom Bombing’ became a new trend. The RSPCA also confirmed an increase in visits to their ‘Find a pet’ webpage.

Adopting and Continuing to Care for Pets

New and existing pet owners can help rescue centres by ensuring their animals are well looked after for the long-term. Whether planning a future adoption or improving the care of a current pet, here are three key areas every owner should consider.

  • Money – Animals require both regular and one-off expenses for the whole of their lifetimes including food, equipment, insurance, veterinary bills, microchipping and more.
  • Time – Not only do animals need feeding, cleaning and exercise but they need companionship, too. Getting to know a pet is a continual commitment and can help owners to recognise shifts in behaviour. Read our blog on separation anxiety in dogs for more advice.
  • Circumstances – Work, leisure, families, homes, neighbours, future plans; it is easy to forget how different lifestyle factors can affect animals, too, especially if there are sudden changes.

Further guidance is available on the following websites along with rehoming support and adoption opportunities: RSPCA, Dogs Trust, Blue Cross, Cats Protection, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

Other Ways to Support Animal Charities

Rehoming a pet is just one way of helping rescue centres following Covid-19. As charities, they are reliant on donations and offer quick and easy payment options via their websites.

For anyone looking to expand their experiences after lockdown, volunteering is a great way of helping a charity and boosting personal wellbeing. Sharing posts on social media or organising digital fundraisers are beneficial too! Or why not visit one of the many charity shops that have now reopened?

Above all, promoting responsible pet ownership is something we can all support, now and for the future.