But now, adoption rates have spiked as city residents have begun to understand the situation better and the need for bonding during difficult time.
“Many people were initially abandoning pets due to fear and lack of awareness. There were rumours of dogs spreading coronavirus despite no study backing it up. But now, locals have really stepped up to the plate and adoption rates are spiking,” said Jennifer Jacob, founder of Chennai Adoption Drive.
A similar trend was noticed by Krishna, who stated that the primary cause for the increase in adoptions was due to loneliness. “Many people are working from home these days, and a pet is a good stress buster. Although it might seem selfish, many locals are pulling up their socks and ensuring that they care for the animals properly,” he said.
Interestingly, Krishna said that more people in the city are adopting cats, which have a historically lower adoption rate than dogs, due to the ease of care and changing opinions on the animal. However, Jacob stated that the locals who approach them are of mixed pet backgrounds, and many are now more open to adopting older pets. “One interesting trend I’ve noticed is the total change in people’s mentality when it comes to adoption. More people are open to fostering an animal before adopting it, to see how fit they would be in taking care of the animal. Many people are also open to adopting local breeds as opposed to strays as well, and this is a welcome change,” said Jacob.
Animal welfare activists hope that this trend continues and adoptions increase in the city. With work from home continuing, many feel adoptions will only increase as the months go by.