By Cassandre Baillargeon
ANIMALS. The month of April has had a strong start at the Drummond Humane Society (SPAD) as the organization notices a significant increase in the number of dog registrations.
“Since COVID has been put aside a bit, we’re starting to get a lot of dogs back,” reports SPAD CEO Philippe Labonté.
For him, as for other animal welfare organizations, the current rise is far from a surprise. “What we feared about the famous COVID dogs, we were right to fear,” he says.
In the last two years, the sale of dogs has been very lucrative on the Internet with, among other things, waiting lists and a marked increase in prices. Some buyers even resold the dog they had just acquired as they could no longer care for it, the daily manager reveals.
This one has already seen a four month old puppy who had had four different owners in just as many months.
However, the market’s popularity is beginning to falter, which has a direct impact on SPAD. “The chain has started to land because there are far fewer requests for adoption of dogs, so that means people who are not able to sell them come and bring them to us at SPAD,” Ms. Goodness explains.
The latter also recommends that the population contact the shelter before bringing their animals to abandonment. “The ideal in these situations is to wait as long as possible and ensure that the shelters are not overwhelmed before you come to carry your own animal. Sometimes it can make a difference to keep it for a few more months, ”he says.
The effects of teleworking to monitor
The intensive market of recent months combined with mandatory teleworking has also been partly responsible for the increase in the number of welcome dogs on SPAD since the beginning of 2022.
“Since the spring, just as measures were falling and telework was becoming less and less in demand or required, we have noticed an influx,” says Philippe Labonté.
According to his experience with animals, it is essential that owners take time with their animals to ensure that the separation between teleworking and returning to presence takes place smoothly.
“The animal is used to this routine. If someone adopted a dog in June 2020, it will take two years for the animal to be with them all the time, and suddenly the person walks eight hours a day. It is safe and secure that behavioral problems can begin, and that is where it can happen that the person can no longer hold the animal because it has not been used to being alone, ”Mr Labonté asks.
He offers owners to desensitize their dogs to their constant presence by leaving his pet alone for short periods of time to accustom him to it. He also suggests placing the animal in a more confined area such as a cage or a specific room to avoid damage to the house.
These measures are, according to Mr Labonté, so the owner “continues to love” his four-legged friend, as the biggest behavioral problems are usually barking and damage to the house. In addition, humans use this method to reduce the separation anxiety that can be created in animals with a sudden change in routine.
Lack of training
Mr. Labonté reminds us of the need to understand the implications that come with caring for an animal. “You should not adopt when you are not 100% sure that you will be able to spend the next 15 years with the animal,” he emphasizes.
The latter mentions that SPAD staff have in recent months noticed a lack of training in the dogs arriving at their premises. “We have noticed a lot of dogs arriving here as a year old and who have not seen anything that is not clean.”
This lack of training has direct consequences for the work of the organization’s employees, as these animals will require more time and resources before they can be adopted.
In more complex cases, SPAD deals with “rescues” or shelters that are more specialized than themselves, so they take care of the animal to train it in the time it takes.