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It's well known that having a pet at home has multiple benefits, from companionship to providing a sense of calm. Why else are therapy animals a thing, right?
But as the global coronavirus pandemic continues to put pressures on a wide range of industries and businesses, from events to travel and tourism, animal shelters are suffering too.
For some rescue centres, fears of staffing shortage are putting a halt on taking in unwanted pets, in order to avoid reaching critical capacity.
One way to help? Adopt a furry companion, of course.
The Coventry and District branch of the RSPCA confirmed on its website that the shelter is stopping the intake of pets so that staff can comfortably look after the ones already in their care.
Animal shelters across the country could face similar struggles.
It may be several months before the Coventry and District branch is able to take in animals again, and the centre is closed to the public.
Adoptions, however, are still going ahead - and that's where the public come in.
Anyone wanting to give a loving pet a good home can make an appointment and visit the centre - after washing their hands thoroughly, of course.
The act of adopting a pet not only helps relieve the strain on animal shelter services but can help with physical and mental wellbeing in all sorts of ways.
A loyal pet offers company - which is particularly important in times of increased isolation - while research shows that the mere act of stroking an animal can reduce heart-rate and anxiety.
"There are currently no signs of illness at the centre and we are proceeding with adoptions," said the Coventry and District branch in a statement on Facebook.
"If you are planning to come to the centre for an appointment please do not be offended if we ask if you have any symptoms or ask you to sanitise your hands. Needless to say if you do have symptoms please call us to cancel your appointment."
Similar reports of animal shelters under pressure have emerged from America.
On Sunday 14th March, municipal shelter Animal Care Centers New York posted a call-out to its Instagram account, reading: "ACC needs 200 'on call' emergency fosters who can take home a pet if ACC reaches critical capacity."
ACC is just one of many American shelters looking for volunteers to take in animals - whether temporarily or permanently - and with the public practising social distancing, it's a way for people to give an animal in need a good home, enhance their lifestyles and help out simultaneously.
Speaking to Tyla about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Head of Centre Operations Rob Young said: "In line with other workplaces across the country we are monitoring the situation very closely and have plans in place that will ensure that we are able to provide the necessary care for dogs and cats at our centres.
"We urge anyone looking to bring a little joy in to their lives during these uncertain times to make an appointment with our rehoming team as soon as they are able.
"We are still running an appointment system for people bringing an animal in or rehoming a dog or cat from us, but we are now closed to all other visitors.
"We are utilising staff across the organisation to ensure the care of our animals is not compromised and are fortunate to have an additional network of foster carers that can look after animals in their own home.
"We are still booking appointments with potential owners and encourage anyone considering adopting a pet to get in touch."
here.For advice from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home on the best way to provide care for a pet during the coronavirus outbreak, click
Battersea relies on donations to raise the vital funds needed to keep centres running, and now, more than ever, needs the continued support of the public. To make a donation visit here.
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