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File: Abandoned puppies at a TTSPCA shelter.

BAVITA GOPAULCHAN

Toilet and cleaning supplies are not the only things in high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the Stay-at-Home policy in effect, many people have decided to get a furry companion during isolation.

According to the Trinidad and Tobago Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, in the last two months people have been rushing to care for animals and provide homes, even if just temporarily.

Chairman of the society, Sita Kurvilla, told Guardian Media, “We are thrilled because we were really quite worried that the shelter was full towards the end of February so we really weren’t sure how this will play out because people had financial considerations”.

At end of February there were 132 dogs and cats at the shelter. Currently, there are only seven dogs remaining with a few puppies and kittens expected soon.

The TTSPCA chairman said the shelter has waived its adoption fees as one way to encourage people to consider adopting from the shelter.

However, she stressed that the organization continues to screen homes before any approval is given.

With more time on her hands at home, Abigail Hadeed said she decided to expand her family with an additional puppy which she adopted from the TTSPCA.

She told Guardian Media her job as a film producer and photographer made it impossible to fulfill her desire of bringing home a sibling for “Smally”, her four-year-old dog.

“Several things are important to me when I’m adopting an animal and that is, I have the time to train them and I do have another dog so you also need to spend the time to have proper introduction,” Hadeed said.

While more families are taking in pets, the TTSPCA chairman indicated that there are still a lot of people who are abandoning their animals.

Also, Kuruvilla said there have been many instances where elderly people, who have had to relocate for one reason or another during the pandemic, giving up their pets to the shelter.

With many people anxious to return to their regular routines post COVID-19, the TTSPCA is begging people to remember their fury pals who helped them through this difficult time.