THE South East Animal Welfare League currently has no dogs in its care and only a handful of cats, but it has been a busy period for the shelter.
Over 30 dogs were surrendered at the welfare league between March – when the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic ramped up – and May.
While the not-for-profit organisation closed its gates to the public as a health safety measure, it still took in 11 dogs in March, followed by 12 each in April and May.
SEAWL president Trevor Twilley said the increase was unexpected.
“People had been spending more time at home and we hoped they would be spending that time with their pets,” Mr Twilley said.
“We expected a decline in numbers during the pandemic but that did not happen.
“However, we did have two families travel all the way from Adelaide to adopt some dogs who came into our care which was incredible.”
He said staff and volunteers had coped well during the pandemic and a significant number of adoptions were recorded.
Closing to the public also provided an opportunity to undertake maintenance at the facility.
“We had fixed up the fencing for the dogs’ running yards and the facility is looking the best it had in a long time because we had the chance to work on it,” he said.
SEAWL is yet to settle on a date to reopen.
Looking ahead, dog and cat owners will start to receive registration renewals from next month on how to re-register and pay on the Dogs and Cats Online portal.
Mr Twilley said registering pets made reuniting lost pets with their owners significantly easier.
“It is critical that owners re-register their pets so when they come into our care or into the care of a council, we can return them in a timely manner,” Mr Twilley said.
Dogs and Cats Online is a statewide register for microchip and desexing information which are mandatory practices for dogs, cats and breeders.