By Ray Sinclair

Despite a big drop in donations to animal welfare centres due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it has not been all bad news. Virtual adoptions via Zoom have seen a record number of animals rehomed or adopted from Queensland’s animal welfare shelters.

Zoom technology allowed hundreds of animals to find their forever homes via virtual adoption. Credit: Ray Sinclair

Both the RSPCA and the Animal Welfare League say the centres have seen most of their animals rehomed during the ongoing pandemic.

Left: Senior Media Advisor for the RSPCA, Michael Beatty Credit: Ray Sinclair 2018

Michael Beatty, Senior Media Advisor for the RSPCA, said the pandemic presented the centre with some unique challenges.

“New technologies such as Zoom enabled people who could no longer come to the centre to physically look at the animals a chance to adopt them virtually,” he said.

Mr Beatty said, in just over four days the centre had seen three thousand people expressing interest in fostering an animal.

“Percentage-wise the number of animals finding new homes is very strong, a lot of animals that are in foster care, were adopted by their carers. We literally adopted hundreds and hundreds of animals,” he said.

Cats are ninety per cent more likely to contract Cat Flu in a shelter. Credit: photo Ray Sinclair

Craig Montgomery, Communications Manager for the Animal Welfare League, said his shelters adoptions are down simply because there are not enough animals to rehome, which is a good thing.

“Before Covid-19, ninety per cent of dogs were reclaimed and only about ten per cent of cats. Now we’re looking at sixty per cent of cats being reclaimed,” he said.

Mr Montgomery said there are good health benefits for animals that are rehomed out of the shelter environment.

“What we saw was a massive reduction in stress-related disease, when an animal comes to a shelter, it’s a stressful time for the animal, and they are susceptible to getting sick.

“Especially the cats, pretty much every cat that comes into a shelter will probably get cat flu, and dogs contact kennel cough.

“Disease has probably reduced by ninety per cent,” he said.

The RSPCA remains closed to the public. Animal adoptions continue online.

Animal Welfare League is open to the public.

If you would like to adopt an animal, donate or volunteer please contact the RSPCA or Animal Welfare League.

To adopt, donate or volunteer, please contact the centres. Credit: photo Ray Sinclair

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