Coronavirus: Lockdown sparks surge in animal adoptions

It seems lockdown has sparked a surge in the number of people wanting to foster and adopt animals.

The SPCA has been inundated with hundreds of requests to take home a forever friend.

When Toby MacIntyre found out we were going into lockdown he did what Kiwis do best, and lent a helping hand.

In this case, becoming a foster parent to three little kittens, stepping in and taking a load off the SPCA.

"It's another way of helping maybe not helping people, but helping part of our community and animals are a big part of our lives," he says.

The SPCA like many organisations was hard hit by the unexpected arrival of level 4 which forced them to suddenly try and find foster homes for thousands of animals in a hurry.

"It was a huge challenge as you can imagine, none of us were prepared for level 4 and SPCA was not unique in that," says SPCA Wellington manager Ros Alsford.

But as it turns out Kiwis opened their homes and their hearts.

"In Wellington alone we saw 500 animals going out to foster but country-wide it was nearly 1500," Alsford says.

And since level 3 has come into play the idea of having an extra bubble buddy has become even stronger.

"It's been hugely busy," Alsford says. "The phone has been ringing non-stop and we've had a huge amount of inquiries through our website."

There have been 25,000 views of the SPCA website in the last three days alone and almost 600 animals are available for adoption with more popping up every day.

SPCA carers say the lonely time in lockdown might have been the reason why animal adoptions via contactless pickup are now going through the roof.

As for MacIntyre and his family, they're glad they've been able to help prepare Bagel, Juice and Hairball for their forever homes.

"Getting used to having cat litter at home has probably been the biggest difficulty but it's been really having three little kittens," he says.

Kiwis spreading the love far and wide and beating those lockdown blues.