Animal associations

From wave of rabbits to craving for food: Animal groups reflect on another year of pet pandemic

Thinking back to another year of the pandemic, Windsor-Essex Animal Groups say the desire for a furry companion has remained strong in the southwestern Ontario region, as has the need for food for the pet food banks.

Many believed that the adoption of pets and the hopeful trends of 2020 would slow down the following year. But Melanie Coulter, executive director of the Windsor / Essex County Humane Society, said the desire to have pets remains strong.

Coulter’s organization was busy creating welfare programs, caring for animals through its veterinary services, and navigating online adoptions.

“We haven’t seen any kind of pandemic regret,” she said. “For the most part, we don’t find that people who have adopted or even obtained animals elsewhere just change their minds and send them away.”

Coulter said a big moment for the company last year was the adoption of 84 dogs from Texas – the largest animal transfer the shelter has been a part of and the first time it has transported animals. for adoption.

She also noted that with so many animals receiving new homes, the humanitarian society recognized the need for a welfare program so that owners can understand the basic health checks they should perform.

Coulter said this type of programming will continue to grow in 2022.

Hundreds of rabbits mystify human society

One of the more unusual trends of 2021 was the amount of rabbits, ducks and chickens the shelter hosted, according to Coulter.

While ducks and chickens were adopted relatively quickly, rabbits seemed to stick around and the humanitarian society saw several hundred come through their doors.

Wallace the Duck was featured on the Windsor / Essex County Humane Society Facebook page in May. The organization says ducks and chickens are generally adopted quickly. (Windsor / Essex County Humanitarian Society)

“We’ve had, and other shelters across Ontario have had, this rabbit flood,” she said, adding shelters in Michigan would experience the same.

“There are a limited number of adopters of rabbits, so it was a real challenge trying to place all of those rabbits.”

She said the humanitarian society has seen many people either abandon their rabbits or bring stray rabbits back from the streets. Coulter said she suspects it’s because it’s difficult to get veterinary care for rabbits, but the reason remains a bit of a “mystery.”

Jacqueline Watson, who lives in LaSalle, Ont., Told CBC News that she adopted a rabbit on December 28 after hearing about the rise of human society.

Watson said her daughter, Amanda, loved animals, so they decided the time was right for a new member of the family.

“[Amanda] fell in love as soon as she saw the picture [of the bunny]Watson said. “It was just meant to be.”

For anyone considering a bunny, Watson encourages doing some reading and research to make sure they are suitable for the family.

Watson says her 14-year-old daughter Amanda loves all animals, and the family felt it was a good time to adopt a rabbit. (Submitted by Jacqueline Watson)

Demand for pet food has almost doubled since 2019

While demand for pets has remained high, so has the need for food and supplies, according to Rodger Fordham of Feeding Windsor-Essex.

Demand for pet food has doubled from 2019, with the organization serving between 350 and 400 people this year.

During the year, the company also saw an influx of cats and kittens. (Darrin Di Carlo / CBC)

The increased need for pet food may be due to the increased needs of pets. But he also said it may have been because Feeding Windsor-Essex has made itself more accessible to customers, traveling to different parts of the region and offering a mobile food bank to homeless people.

“It’s a challenge [to keep up]Fordham said, adding that the organization depended on donations.

“In these times, [it’s] more than ever [important to donate] because your pet is such a great support for people with mental health issues, and now with COVID issues of social isolation for young children. Often times their animal is the only unconditional love they receive … and for the children it is very important, for the seniors it is very important. ”