Pandemic effect: rehoming of pets on the rise in Bengaluru

Many pets are either being given up for adoption or abandoned

Updated - May 17, 2021 10:41 am IST

Published - May 17, 2021 10:29 am IST - Bengaluru:

A women at her home which is also a pet aitting center at Jayanagar, in Bengaluru. File photo

A women at her home which is also a pet aitting center at Jayanagar, in Bengaluru. File photo

The impact of COVID-19 appears to have spared no one, not even pooches and fur babies. While some pet parents are forced to make alternative arrangements for their pets after getting infected with the virus, bereaved families are also exploring adoption of their pets, while some are just plainly abandoning them.

Also read: Where do pets of COVID-hit families go?

Several citizens active in animal welfare claim that over the past one year, several dogs had been rehomed after their owners decided to give them up.

Ramya Gowda from Furry Fairy, a grooming spa, boarding, fostering and day care facility for pets, said that she had helped rehome nearly 40 dogs over the past one year alone. “After the lockdown last year, many people decided to adopt/ buy dogs. However, when they realised the amount of effort needed to take care of pets, they either put it up for adoption or abandon it,” she said.

Watch | Dogs, cats and COVID-19

The number of messages on pets up for adoption had seen an increase over the past few months. Priya Chetty Rajagopal from The C.J. Memorial Trust is critical of such messages being forwarded on these platforms. “When someone wants to give up their dog, don’t just share the post; ask why. You can help or even connect them with those offering fostering services. We are not discounting cases where the reasons are genuine. But many times, people do strange things when they feel helpless,” she said.

Over the past few months, breed dogs and puppies have been abandoned on the premises of the Veterinary Hospital in Cantonment, Shivajinagar, said Parvez Ahmed Piran, Chief Executive Officer, Vet Society for Animal Welfare and Rural Development. He has attributed this to families that have been affected by the pandemic.

Alternative arrangements

However, there are pet parents who go the extra mile to ensure their fur babies are well cared for while they recoup their health. Several boarding facilities and families that foster pets have helped such citizens.

Susheel Savarkar of Petholics in Sugamanagar, Nyannapanahalli in Begur, has boarded over 12 pets from families that have tested positive for COVID-19. He also has been boarding pets whose owners have gone back to their hometowns.

Pick and drop facility

Many boarding facilities are also offering pick and drop facility, apart from putting in place various precautionary measures. Kishan Vasudevan from Wag-Ville in Jakkur told The Hindu that his staff wear PPE kits, masks and gloves while picking up the pooches. “We request the families to leave the dog out or tied to the door handle. We use our sanitised leashes and once brought to our facility, we give them a warm bath and blow dry. We then do a temperament check. We have developed our own Standard Operating Procedures,” he said and added that there were currently 34 pets being boarded in his three-acre facility.

The rates for boarding have also seen a spike with an increase in cases. Cadaboms Kennels in Banashankari would earlier prescribe boarding rates depending on the breed. “Now, we just charge a fixed rate of ₹1,000 a day. This is because of the various precautions that we have put in place due to the pandemic,” said Satish Cadaboms from the facility.

The demand for dog walkers has also increased, with COVID-19 affected pet parents not able to take their pets out for their daily walks. Prem Kumar is a dog walker in demand. The resident of Austin Town offers his services to pet parents in the city’s Central Business District. But, over the past few months, he said he has been getting requests from pet parents in Hebbal, Peenya, Yelahanka and other places. “However, with the lockdown in place, I have taken a break,” he said.

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