With just under two months still to go in the current financial year, RSPCA South Australia has already adopted more animals than in the previous year.
In the 2019 financial year, the organisation found new homes for 4,474 animals. The highest number of animals adopted from the organisation was 4587 in the 2018 financial year.
As of yesterday, a total of 4,480 animals had been adopted since 1 July 2019. The species breakdown reveals felines top the list of adopted animals –
- 1403 cats
- 1960 kittens
- 613 dogs
- 151 puppies
- 184 rabbits
- 34 guinea pigs
- 82 birds/fowl
- 34 rats/mice
- 4 horses
- 1 pig
- 2 sheep
- 12 native reptiles
Adoptions began to soar in mid-March following the organisation’s call for community help amidst increasing Covid-19 restrictions. Over the two months of March and April, a total of 1,275 animals were adopted compared to 716 for the same period last year.
Social isolation has prompted many people to view the current crisis as an opportunity to welcome a new furry or feathered family member into their lives. According to RSPCA South Australia’s Operations Manager, Jodie Summer, a new online booking system for adoption appointments has also contributed to the increased demand for animals.
“We introduced the system about seven weeks ago as one of our safety measures to ensure social distancing,” Ms Summer said.
“But it seems to have had the added benefit of attracting people who genuinely want to give an animal a home, rather than people who would just like to browse.
“And with so many of us working from home right now, there’s no doubt more people are seeking companionship in animals.”
Among the new adopters are Dianne Bates and her husband Stephen Mutton, who welcomed a 7 year old dog named Jack Sparrow into their family on 30 April after a successful one-week pre-adoption trial.
The good-natured Bull Arab cross came into RSPCA South Australia’s care in mid-March after his owners, who were moving overseas, surrendered him so that he could find a new home.
“We went to RSPCA hoping to find a forever companion as we had lost our other dog nearly a year ago,” Dianne said.
“We saw a few dogs but Jack Sparrow stood out.
“He was a bit bigger than we planned to get but we spent about an hour with him in the dog run and found him to be very friendly and such a quiet dog.”
Dianne and Stephen have kept their dog’s interesting moniker, inspired by his pirate-like patch over one eye, though they’ve shortened it to Jack.
“We are now both retired and so I take him on his daily walk, which he loves.
“He is a very affectionate dog and has brought such joy to us.”
The number of animals in RSPCA South Australia’s care has hovered between 700-800 in recent years, spiking as high as 1000 during the kitten breeding months of October to March.
In the last 7 days there have been less than 400 animals in care, with just 372 animals in care today.
Almost half of them are living with voluntary foster carers for a range of reasons, including being too young to desex, or recovering from illness or injury. About 30% of animals are under veterinary care while the remainder are in protective custody, pending legal action against their owners, under council or police hold, or unclaimed strays.
This morning there are just 19 animals available to adopt. Most animals are available for adoption from RSPCA South Australia’s Lonsdale shelter, with one cat, one kitten and one dog available from the organisation’s Whyalla animal care centre.
Jack Sparrow at home with owner Stephen Mutton.