More puppies are being adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic but it might not be a positive thing, with an animal shelter warning that this trend could result in more abandoned dogs in the future.
MSPCA has seen an increase in demand for puppies during the pandemic, something the NGO likens to the fact that people are spending more time at home.
However, it warned that this may not prove to be a good thing for dogs in Malta as the long term consequences of a high adoption rate could in fact drive breeding activity coupled with unrealistic expectations and poor social exposure, resulting in either the abandonment or returning of some dogs.
“Puppies raised during lockdown have the same exact needs as other puppies. People who rushed to adopt or buy a puppy during these strange times without properly considering their responsibilities could soon give up on the dog or experience complaints after returning to work because they forgot to get the puppy used to being alone,” MSPCA said in a press release.
MSPCA also believes that current social distancing measures could have long-term effects on dogs’ behaviours and emotional welfare.
“Puppies have continued being exposed to a full team of carers on a rotation and multiple interested parties while adding measures to our already strict hygiene standards, and always get lots of exposure to other dogs and emotional challenges. Now is not the time to forget to do the basic things,” said Christian Pace, Behaviour and Outreach Manager at MSPCA.
Despite the increase in demand for puppies during the pandemic, MSPCA appealed to owners and breeders not to see this as an encouragement to breed but to spay and neuter instead.
They also encouraged new owners to be responsible and let their pets have their alone time to avoid problems once things back to normal.