Animal charity Wood Green is expecting a potential surge in pet problems as the lifting of the coronavirus lockdown continues.
The Godmanchester-based charity believes that owners - and their pets - may have become used to having extra time on their hands and may not be able to cope as life returns to normal.
Some may have taken on an extra pet during the lockdown and will now struggle with their commitments as they spend less time at home and return to work, leaving their animals alone for long periods.
The charity has urged owners to get in touch if they believe they or their pets are struggling with the change.
Linda Cantle, director of pet and owner support services, said: “Many pets will have enjoyed the extra company at home over the past couple of months, and we know that lots of people have seen lockdown as an opportunity to welcome a new pet into their home. Whilst this had a number of benefits, it will be challenging for both pets and owners as life returns to normal and routines are changed once again.
“We encourage pet owners to contact us at the earliest stage possible and we can offer the level of support they need – anything from general pet care tips through to more intensive behavioural support or financial assistance to cover the cost of pet care.”
She said: “If anyone is no longer able to care for their pet, Wood Green can take ownership, look after them and ensure they’re neutered and vaccinated before matching them with their ideal new home. Whatever pet owners are going through, we are here to help.”
The charity said that if pet owners saw that their pets were showing noticeable changes in their behaviour, such as separation anxiety, they should come forward.
But Wood Green said it was also emerging from the lockdown by introducing digital methods of rehoming animals in its care.
Would-be owners have been meeting pets virtually which can then be delivered to their new homes to minimise the number of visitors to the site.
It has also put a “robust” system in place for owners who can no longer look after their pets, including managing arrival, veterinary assessment and daily care whilst observing social distancing.
Channel 4’s popular show The Dog House is being filmed again at Wood Green, exploring the matching process, why people want a dog and the pet’s background. It would like to hear from people prepared to offer a lifelong home to a rescue dog at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Information is available from Wood Green at woodgreen.org.uk or 0300 303 9333.