Psssst: wanna buy a kitten or puppy?
From February 10 to 26, animal adoptions are half-price at the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The charity aims to clear space in its shelters for a record influx of dogs and puppies–with even more animals expected.
Animal shelters in B.C. are overflowing. “From dogs and cats, to horses, farm animals, birds, rabbits, and small animals, we have love in all shapes and sizes to adopt,” said Adrienne McBridge in the SPCA promotion of half-price adoptions.
A lot of the homeless animals are so-called “Pandemic Pets”–kittens and puppies bred for profit as the public demand for pets soared during the COVID-19 restrictions on social and travel activities, noted the SPCA.
“Now that people are back to work and their regular routines, the market has dropped off, and we are getting calls for help from breeders who are overwhelmed with the number of animals in their care,” said SPCA senior officer Eileen Drever in a statement. “People were very keen to get pets during the isolation of COVID, and we saw an increase in the number of people breeding animals.”
“February is the month for love, and what better expression of love than the unconditional devotion and affection of a four-legged friend?” says the SPCA sales promotion.
Want a budgie? Mr. Sweetie and Mr. Bean are waiting for you in the SPCA’s Sechelt shelter. Bunnies Teller and Penn are among the pets waiting for new homes at the Campbell River SPCA. Elvie, Chester, Frankie, and Roland are among the six cats up for adoption in the Prince Rupert shelter, while at Port Alberni’s SPCA, Cinnamon, a female German shepherd cross, and Joey, a 2-month old Labrador retriever cross, are languishing in cages.
But, say shelter workers, the half-price sale doesn’t mean you can just walk in the door and walk out with an animal. People wanting to adopt still have to apply and go through screening to ensure they can give an animal a good home.
And a pet is probably not the best Valentine’s Day surprise.
“If you just started dating a girl, I probably won’t go out and get her a kitten,” quipped one worker at the SPCA’s Prince Rupert branch. She added that families should discuss adoption and apply for pets only when they’re prepared to give the animal a good home for its natural life.