As millions of Australians settle in for another week of isolation, many of us are finding ourselves searching for new ways to relieve the monotony of staying at home.

Excitement can come in a variety of different forms, but a growing number of Australian families have brought a new spark of life into their homes in the form of a fostered or adopted pet.

Only 2 weeks ago, the RSPCA and a number of other animal re-homing organisations asked the general public to consider bringing a new pet into their home, and the response from the public since then has been nothing short of amazing.

In only five short days, more than 3000 people in the state of Queensland alone have put their hands up to foster an animal, while animal adoption rates in Canberra have almost doubled amid the pandemic.

The difference between adopting and fostering an animal is the level of commitment involved.

Fostering an animal in usual circumstances means that you are taking it in temporarily to allow room in the shelter for another animal that is ready for adoption.

In many cases, pets in foster care programs are recovering from surgery, undergoing rehab or simply too young to be adopted, temporary accommodation gives shelters time and space until the fostered pet itself is ready for adoption.

Adoption on the other hand, is committing to bring an animal into your home and treat it with love and respect that it deserves for the rest of its life.

Almost anyone with a pet will tell you that it doesn’t take very long for an animal to become a fully-fledged member of the family.

Pets can have an amazingly positive effect on a person’s mental health, bringing unconditional love and a sense of purpose to an owner who may be feeling lonely and isolated.

These sorts of bonds have proven to be extremely meaningful to older people who are living alone and other people who may be experiencing depression.

While shelters around the country are rejoicing at the publics’ willingness to adopt and foster pets, many have expressed concern about the likelihood of a mass animal-surrender when the lockdown period comes to an end.

All too often, families like the idea of having a pet in their home only to realise that being a good pet owner is a real responsibility that requires time and effort.

Hasty decisions like these result in large quantities of unfortunate cats and dogs ending up in animal shelters where they are unable to be re-homed and ultimately get put down. 

There are still thousands of beautiful animals sitting in shelters around the country that are looking for a new ‘forever-home’ where they can reward their owner with years of unbridled love and attention.

If you are someone who currently has the time to welcome a four-legged family member into your home, please make sure that you have the room in your heart to ensure that they have a home for as long as they need one.
Photo credit – Stock – linephoto

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