Opinion: A pet is not just for the pandemic
The USPCA knows that after every Christmas they are going to be faced with providing care for a significant number of pets which had been bought during and for the festive period but then abandoned not long into the New Year.
Yesterday the organisation warned it is expecting that rise in unwanted pets to come about well before Christmas because of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It said there had been a dramatic increase in requests to rehome pets from people who may have bought an animal while they were spending more time at home.
A spokesperson for the USPCA said that the demand for pets had seen the price of cats and dogs increase dramatically. To add to the suffering of animals it is believed that illegal dealers are satisfying the demand.
These people are notoriously careless about the health of the creatures which they are selling. This may mean a hefty vets bill for the buyers, a pressure which can lead to the abandonment of the pets.
The organisation also warns that taking possession of a cat, dog or other type of animal, involves more work than the the new owners may at first anticipate.
Not only has Covid-19 provoked a demand for pets, that demand has translated in steeply rising prices and the Covid-19 pandemic has given illegal traders an excuse for not fulfilling some of the precautionary measures recommended by the USPCA.
That advice includes buyers going to see the mother, go to the house and check the sellers are registered breeders but illegal breeders are now using Covid-19 as an excuse not to see the mum, as you can't enter other people's households.
In the light of those facts the USPCA is urging would-be buyers to be even more vigilant and urges peoplee not to buy a puppy from the side of the road and not to meet breeders in another town.
Anyone thinking of bringing a pet into their home should think carefully about what they are doing. While all will have the best of intentions, many will find the pressures of time and finance real problems, one which the USPCA and other voluntary organisations find themselves attempting to solve.