P.A. SPCA, local pet store hoping increased adoptions don’t result in increased surrenders

Lots of cats available for adoption at the Prince Albert SPCA

One of the cats available for adoption at the Prince Albert SPCA. (Submitted photo)

With more people adopting animals during the pandemic, the SPCA and Pet Planet are hoping that people can continue taking care of their pets after they go back to their normal routine.

There has been a high rate of people wishing to adopt dogs during the pandemic, according to Prince Albert SPCA manager Ashlee Bober.

Bober said before the pandemic a dog would typically stay at the shelter for a month to two months before being adopted, that’s since changed.

Now, once a dog is posted for adoption, the SPCA has a pile of applicants to go through Bober said.

“The day they’re available is pretty much the day we guarantee we have a home for them just because we have so many people applying for dogs right now.”

Bober said the SPCA hasn’t been able to keep up with the demand for a dogs which she says is a good thing.

“We don’t want to see animals at the SPCA because that means people are taking care of their animals.”

She added the SPCA still has lots of cats available, but there hasn’t been as much interest in them. The large amount of cats in the shelter is also due to a large stray population in the city.

Bober said the SPCA is still adopting out a decent number of cats, and kittens especially.

With so many more people applying for adoptions, the SPCA is working diligently to find forever homes for the animals, Bober said.

“(People) have the time to get a new pet which is fantastic but the concern is are they still going to have enough time for them when they go back to work and once life gets back to the new normal,” she said.

When reviewing applications, the SPCA is ensuring people are thinking of the long run of owning a pet and not just the time during the pandemic.

Bober added that no pets adopted throughout the pandemic have been returned to the SPCA due to lack of time to care for them.

Dogs can tend to be more anxious and may have a hard time when their owners start returning to work, so Bober suggested leaving pets at home for a longer periods of time to get used to being alone.

She also recommended bringing dogs to doggy daycare to get them used to being away from the family and socializing with other dogs.

“It’s a little bit easier of a transition on the dog. It gives them a break from home and gives them a bit of an adventure to go on and make some new friends,” Bober said.

The SPCA is also working with Pet Planet in Prince Albert, which advocates for pet adoption. Pet Planet provides SPCA adoptees with coupon vouchers to the store.

Pet Planet is also running an angel tree program, where customers can donate toys and treats to a pet in the shelter. The store also offers online shopping for customers wishing to make a contactless donation to the SPCA.

The store’s owner, Corinne Penner said she’s also noticed a “huge amount” of new pets.

“There are much more adoptions happening which is wonderful,” Penner said.

Penner added she too is concerned about what will happen when people return to their pre-pandemic schedules.

“We really hope that it isn’t an adoption surge now and then a surrender later,” Penner said.