Pet adoption centers have become overcrowded as owners give away their pets as they return to offices causing depression and separation anxiety in many pets.
Ritu, a working professional was in depression after she lost her first child during her first trimester. Somebody suggested to her husband that a pet could help her to get over the grief of their lost child. Winnie was welcomed with great joy and celebrations in their home last year in March. She named Winnie after her favorite cartoon character ‘Winnie-the-pooh’.
“Now that offices are calling their employees back to work, I am in a position to place Winnie up for adoption. We (my husband and I) never considered what would happen to Winnie after our work from home days were over. We find it difficult to let go of Winnie, but leaving him alone in the house might cause him to get depressed,” said Ritu.
Jagdish Kumar, a 30-year-old graphic designer, is expected to return to office in May. “As a result, I’ve decided to keep Lucy in the pet center until I get home from work. She will also be taught to be more independent so that she does not experience separation anxiety. I’m also looking for animal telepathy experts who can support Lucy when I’m not available.”
“With rising concern, fewer pet owners are opting to board their pets at a pet boarding facility for eight to nine hours a day while they are at work. However, the majority of pet boarding facilities are in poor condition. Pets are kept in a dark room, and their poop and fluids are rarely cleaned. When visitors come to the pet boarding center, they cling to them and their eyes tell them that they want to get out of there,” said Tulika Menon, a pet owner in Bangalore.
Tulika added that a few pet boarding centers in Bangalore have been keeping pets in horrible conditions. “They are fed on a regular basis, but proper hygiene is not maintained.” They’ve been confined to a single room. She said they were looking for an appropriate pet boarding facility for their pet Ginger but were taken aback after seeing the horrible situation.
India’s pet market:
A Statista’s report states that the number of pet owners in India have increased during the lockdown. In 2019, dogs made up the bulk of ownership with 34 percent of people owning dogs.
Another Statista report states that revenue in the Pet Food segment is expected to amount to $500,000,000 million in 2022. During the lockdown the market is expected to grow annually by 15.75 percent from 2022 to 2027. According to Royal Canine India, due to the increasing population of pets in India, there were shortages of pet food in India in 2021.
Indians owned 21.42 million dogs in 2019, with that number expected to rise to 31.41 million by 2023. Many Indians spent a lot of money on pets during the pandemic. Those who couldn’t afford to buy pets, adopted from the adoption center. However, as things are returning to normal, pet owners are giving their dogs to adoption centers. Adoption of pets was high during the pandemic, according to pet adoption care centers in Bangalore such as Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA), Charlie’s Animal Rescue Center (CARE), and Karuna Animal Shelter, but when offices reopened, animal shelters reported overpopulation.
Charlie, manager of CARE adoption center in Bangalore said, “Individuals adopted several pets (cats and dogs) during the lockdown to help them cope with their isolation, but now that the offices have reopened, people are giving their pets for adoption. We received 20 pugs for adoption last month. We presently have 35 pugs, 12 stray dogs, and a couple of Labrador retrievers.”
A report published by NPR mentioned that, not just in India, even in other countries; pet adoption centers are overcrowded with pets after offices have reopened.
Dr. Chandrika Murmu, a veterinary doctor said, “I’ve seen pets act out, chewing whatever they find in and around them, being fussy about what they eat, and barking nonstop. These are all symptoms that they are suffering from separation anxiety. People who give their dogs to an adoption center have a long-term psychological effect.”
“Animal trainer demand increased after the lockdown. Trainers are asked to train their pet to be independent along with leash walking, poop training, and many others,” said Vanilla, a pet trainer in Bangalore.
“There is no way to keep pets happy while their owners are not around, but there are a few techniques to make them less worried when their owners are not present. They could play with them before leaving so that they fall asleep from tiredness. Alternatively, a security camera could assist owners in looking after their pets while they are not there,” Dr. Murmu explained.