Since almost the start of the coronavirus pandemic, it's been seemingly impossible to go on social media or read the news without hearing about the adoption demand for animals - specifically rescue dogs.
The trend has, quite understandably, been touted as one of the few glimmers of hope in a very bleak year, but one local rescue organisation is worried about the eventual, post-COVID-19 upshot for all those animals.
"The demand is incredible. We're getting people calling from all over the state asking if these dogs (advertised on social media) are still available. It's insane the level of demand," the president of the Orange branch of the Animal Welfare League NSW (AWLNSW) Tina Pacey said.
Before COVID-19, the animals deemed "long term" fosters at the rescue were the pets that had been in their care for at least six months. Now, any dog that's still with them after four weeks is considered a "long term".
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Like many rescue charities, the AWLNSW Orange branch has been taken aback by the amount of applications they have received since the pandemic began, which was largely driven by so many people working from home.
But now their thoughts are turning to what happens once people begin to return to work and separation anxiety plus other behavioural issues float to the surface.
"There's that concern that once covid's over that there will be an increase in surrenders," Ms Pacey said.
"It's great that they're all getting adopted but we want them to stay adopted."
To try and mitigate the fall-out from the current COVID-19 dog demand, the Orange-based rescue is trying to encourage dog owners to start preparing for when they do return to work.
"We recommend during covid (that owners take dogs to) doggie day-care to help them socialise while you're at work. We also recommend pet-sitters," Ms Pacey said.
"We're really stressing that you need to leave them at home on a regular basis so that they're used to it when you do go back to work."
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Tilly, the bull arab cross, is one of the few dogs that has been in AWLNSW Orange's care for a full week, but that's only because she's not yet ready for adoption.
As a very timid dog who is quite scared of men, the charity wants to work with her for a bit longer to help boost her confidence, while also ensuring she goes to the most suitable home.
"She's come a long way in a week," Ms Pacey said. "She's an absolute sweetheart."
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