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Dr Chris Brown: 'Coronavirus Could Impact Animal Shelters. Now's The Time To Adopt'

Dr Chris Brown is urging Australians to consider fostering and adopting rescue pets to help us cope in these troubling times.

Like many of us, the celebrity vet found himself swept up in the troubling news that continues to unfold as we brave through the coronavirus pandemic.

The doctor is keeping his chin up, continuing to work in his clinic -- "pet problems and animal challenges continue no matter what’s happening in the human medical world," he told 10 daily.

Eager to find a glimmer of hope, Dr Chris did what he always does -- looked towards animals.

“Pets provide such a nice distraction away from the worries of the world,” he said.

“In their world, they’re having the time of their lives. To have their owners at home is potentially the greatest thing to happen in their lives!”

With increasing numbers of Australians working from home or heading into self-isolation, our pets are providing us with remarkable amounts of comfort and happiness, helping us to tackle feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Melinda Phipps, State Rehoming Manager of Animal Welfare League Queensland, completely agrees. She told 10 daily, "you can fee quite isolated and having that animal to love, and having pets can be really good mental health."

Pets

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"Animals are so amazing, so when a human loves them they have so much love to give in return," Phipps said.

Knowing this, Dr Chris wanted to use his platform and his expertise to draw attention to a very important cause: animal rescue.

I was just trying to find a positive out of it, to find a way animals and people could find a positive outcome out of this situation.

That’s why he took to Instagram to encourage us all to consider adoption and fostering.

“Animal shelters may have to close. They’re overrun with animals, as they often are,” he said.

“And then I realised that, you know what, if so many people are going to be stuck at home, there’s no harm in having a friend with you.”

According to Dr Chris Brown and a number of animal welfare experts, there are plenty of ways Australians can support rescue animals right now. It’s all about finding what works best for you and your lifestyle.

Adoption

When you adopt a rescue pet, not only are you bettering your own life, you could be saving theirs. But Dr Chris stresses the importance of taking the time to find the right fit.

"Like people, we’re all shaped by our upbringing. And when it comes to rescue pets, they may not have had the most straightforward upbringing," he said.

When it comes to rescue pets, you may encounter trickier habits or behavioural issues. But there's a perfect match out there for everyone.

"Don’t rush in, don’t just jump into the first pet that’s cute. This is a really big, important decision."

The vet recommends you spend some time at the shelter getting to know the animal before you adopt, understanding them and their needs, and factoring that into your own lifestyle and what you can provide for them.

You have to find the perfect pet based around their personality and requirements, rather than how you think they’ll look on your Instagram.

He also urges Australians to open their hearts and homes to the creatures often overlooked. There are two members of the pet rescue community Dr Chris hopes will finally be embraced in these crazy times.

"The first would be kittens or cats. Kittens are obviously in big numbers all year round, and they’re sadly probably the most numerous animal that is put down in animal shelters," he said.

"They can be amazing pets. I’ve got a rescue cat myself. They’re great for people who are a bit busier, or potentially don’t have a lot of space or a lot of opportunity to exercise."

He also insists that you can teach an old dog new tricks, adding: "the other group I want to give a shout out to are older pets."

A lot of people want the cute puppy. But older pets are usually very well toilet trained, they need less exercise. They’re more settled and more calm within themselves.

Fostering

If adoption seems like too unrealistic a commitment right now, or if self-isolation has temporarily shifted your lifestyle, now is an excellent time to consider fostering rescue animals.

"A lot of animal shelters in the States and in Europe as well have had to shut down. So it’s about taking that load off them before that happens," said Dr Chris.

The foster situation is something we should consider because things can shut down really quickly. It would be an awful thing if pets have to be put down or stuck without love.

"We always have a need for foster carers, but many people can’t because of time constraints, but now to have that time they are going to be at home," explained Phipps from Animal Welfare League Queensland.

"It’s fantastic if taking time off work means we can spend time with animals in need."

Pet sitting and dog walking

If your situation doesn't allow for you to adopt or foster a pet, but you're still eager for those puppy love induced endorphins, pet sitting and dog walking services are in need of your help right now.

Thomas Derricott, Community Manager of Mad Paws, told 10 daily that given the isolation brought on by the coronavirus, pets are requiring attention that their owners may no longer be able to provide them.

"What we have found, is a variety have been booking dog walking services, so their dog can remain active," said the manager of online pet sitting and dog walking service.

"A high number of pet owners have asked, ‘if I go hospital, if that were to happen, could I could leave my furry friend with trusted carer?' We are honoured to help Australians during this difficult time," said Derricott.

Tensions are high right now, and many Australians are filled with worry. Lending a hand is crucial, especially if that hand is wrapped around the leash of a playful pet.

"Most definitely, being in the presence in the dog, cat, or another furry friend is a fantastic way to combat being lonely," said Derricott.

"Similarly dog walking, if done in a safe and manageable way, is a fantastic way to get outside, get some fresh air, and some time with a fur baby."

Featured Image: Instagram

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