Victoria Humane Society sees spike in animal surrenders

CHEK
WatchOne of the sad side effects from the current pandemic is pets being surrendered. One shelter on the Island says they are seeing a spike, and expect things to only get worse. Julian Kolsut reports.

The Victoria Humane Society says is is seeing a spike in animals that are begin surrendered, as many continue to struggle financially during the pandemic.

“Things aren’t working out. They are going to lose their place. They are moving in with their parents who are either allergic or who don’t want the animal,” said Penny Stone, Victoria Humane Society executive director.

“Or they are moving back out east. We have seen a lot of people moving back out east surrendering their animals.”

As restrictions eased over the last few weeks, the humane society was flooded with animals.

“We work a lot in remote communities, and we weren’t able to get there in the past with COVID being no travel,” said Stone.

“We are seeing those communities open up, and we are getting a ton of animals in. Last week, we took in three transfers with a total of 100 animals and that was crazy, and tomorrow we have another 33 cats and kittens arriving.”

In June alone, 106 cats/kittens, 37 dogs/puppies and three guinea pigs were handed over.

But the Victoria Humane Society has an advantage: its new space on Glanford Avenue. It is able to take and treat more animals.

But there are programs to help owners avoid having to give up their furry friends.

” [We have] a food bank program that we started out a couple months ago now,”said Annie Prittie-Bell, BC SPCA Victoria Branch manager.

“Wednesdays of every week from one to three o’clock. Because if people are just needing to surrender their animal they can’t afford food and supplies, maybe we can bridge that gap.”

Fostering programs have also been extremely popular, as many looked for a companion as they were stuck at home.

“We ended up moving almost every animal right into foster and we have continued that through most of COVID to keep them safe, keep them conformable,” said Prittie-Bell.

And it’s not just fostering that’s seeing a high success rate. Many animals are also quickly finding their fur-ever homes as well as.

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