Compulsory teleworking, cultural and Horeca institutions closed, part-time school: the Covid-19 shook our lives almost a year ago. If this new daily routine is not for everyone, at least it has the merit of making our four-legged friends happy. Pampered all day long, taken on walks more regularly or for longer, our dogs, cats and other rodents received special attention in 2020,
The Brussels shelters thus saw the number of adoptions increase during the first confinement, many households suddenly having the time and the desire to take care of a pet. Authorities and caregivers were then worried about the post-confinement, fearing the arrival of a wave of abandonments once the health measures relaxed. Today, they are partly relieved: the figures are stable compared to previous years.
In 2020 in the capital, 3,105 cats were adopted for around 2,925 abandoned cats. On the dog side, the four shelters have 312 adoptions for 589 abandonments. In Anderlecht, the most abandoned dog breeds at Veeweyde are the American staff, the Malinois shepherd and the German shepherd. As for the new pets, 144 rodents and rabbits were adopted in Brussels and 130 abandoned. Birds are the worst off since the Belgian Royal League for the Protection of Birds collected 978, for only 93 adoptions.
These figures do not surprise the Fanal des chats, in Schaerbeek. “We had 166 dropouts, it’s a little less than usual because people did not go on vacation. And then, we made sure not to accept an adoption during the confinement even to avoid unthinking decisions. . ” Help Animal has nearly 900 adoptions. “We are a little afraid of the post-confinement period and the bad habits that animals left alone at home could develop, but I have the impression that adoptions are better, more prepared, explains Fabrizio Follacchio, director of the refuge. More difficult to place animals have been adopted because people have more time. And then, we now work by appointment, which avoids impulsive adoptions. “
The refuges conquered by the system by appointment
Health measures have in fact forced the shelters to close several weeks before opening only by appointment. A new operating system that seems to be unanimous among professionals. “I am 90% for the fact of continuing to work like this because we are more in animal welfare. The keepers have more time to take care of the animals and there is less passage, parade of people. who are not necessarily good adopters. “
An observation shared by Veeweyde which has only 373 adoptions and 428 abandons due to its closure for renovations. “We had to refuse dropouts. Overall, the reasons for dropouts are not linked to the Covid but to the dog’s lack of education. We had a record year in terms of returns since there is only one adoption that did not work, whereas we usually have about fifteen “, says Ludivine Nolf, spokesperson for the refuge.
When sanitary measures allow, Veeweyde will maintain the appointment system while resuming open visits. “These are also positive, we miss welcoming people freely. But the appointment system is really beneficial for us and for the animal. It allows us to make personalized visits to measure, the adoptions are thus more thoughtful and better supervised by our teams. “