RSPCA To Restart Rehoming & Fostering Animals During Crisis
- Through the crisis millions show interest in adopting
The RSPCA in the UK are currently caring for more than 4,800 animals, but will be restarting rehoming and fostering animals in our care in England from the end of April. Frontline teams have continued to rescue animals throughout the coronavirus crisis but have been unable to find them new homes, meaning that thousands have remained in care.
Now Defra has approved guidelines, put together by the Canine and Feline Sector Group, to allow animal welfare charities in England to rehome safely during the pandemic, the RSPCA want to start finding homes for the animals in care using a new safe process.
Lots of People Are Looking to Rehome or Foster an Animal Right Now
In recent weeks there have been more than a million visits to their rehoming pages online – a rise of almost 30% and a staggering 600% increase in interest in fostering with more than 115,000 visits to their fostering page.
Chris Sherwood said:
“We’ve continued to rescue and take in animals in need through this crisis and our frontline staff in our animal centres have done a sterling job in really tough circumstances, giving them the care and love that they need.”
“But nothing can replace the care that a pet receives in a loving home so we are thrilled that we are going to be able to start finding them the families they desperately need right across England.”
“Safety of the public, our staff and, of course, the animals is our highest priority and we have developed guidelines to ensure that we can rehome, foster and provide ongoing support for adopters and fosterers in a safe way. This means our animal centres will remain closed to the public and we have developed a number of measures to make sure we can maintain social distancing while finding animals new homes.”
Some of the rescue centres and branches in England will begin to rehome and foster this week. This will vary from site to site, so please check with your local centre or branch.
How the Rehoming Process Will Be Different
In line with Defra-approved guidance for England, animal centres will remain closed to the public and RSPCA’s new, temporary rehoming and fostering process will involve:
- Finding an animal on Find A Pet page, completing a Perfect Match form and emailing it to the rehoming centre
- All adopters or fosterers must live within about an hour’s drive of the centre where the animal is being cared for
- All discussions will take place via phone or video call
- Adopters and fosterers will get to ‘virtually meet’ their potential pet with videos sent to show them their behaviour and give them a deeper understanding of their pet’s personality
- Home visits will be done virtually, through photos or video walk-through the home
- All pets will be transported to their new homes and handovers will observe social distancing
- All ongoing support will be done virtually.
An Ideal Time to Rehome for Some Families
Pet welfare specialist, Dr Sam Gaines, added:
“For some families this will be an ideal time to settle a pet into a new home when there is plenty of time to give them all the love and attention they need, but we would urge people to make sure you plan for the future when the family eventually returns to work and school to make sure you can continue to give them the care they need for life.”
Due to the current crisis, some of the rehoming centres have limited staff available to take calls and emails so may take longer to respond to enquiries.
To help the RSPCA keep rescuing animals like these and keep our animal hospitals and centres running for emergency treatment and round the clock care through these unprecedented times, visit their website https://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/donate/coronavirus