“The death rate during the second wave has been very high, and we have been getting calls from people about neighbours passing away and that their dogs and cats are uncared for. Sometimes families lose one or two members and cannot care for pets due to the stress. Compared to last year, the number of animals abandoned in the city has increased,” said Sai Vignesh, an animal activist who runs a shelter in Tiruvallur.
In other cases, most owners find that their pets have grown up and they are unable to maintain them due to costs and other reasons. “During last year’s lockdown, several people bought animals from pet shops, as they had a lot of time in hand. Now, after a year, they realise their dogs and cats have grown up and become expensive to maintain. Every week, we find at least two to three dogs abandoned,” said Rekha, an animal activist.
Don Williams, General Manager, Blue Cross of India said that the regular abandonment of animals has continued in this lockdown too but hasn’t been unusually high at their premises. “Previously, during the summer vacation, more dogs would be abandoned. However, because of this lockdown, we found the relationship between pet owners and dogs has improved in some cases as they have to stay indoors,” he said.