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Helping pets with separation anxiety as pandemic restrictions loosen

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION) During the pandemic people turned to furry and feathered friends for comfort and company. But before you head back to the office or plan that long awaited vacation, consider your pet.

SPCA of Monterey County suggests a slow transition. Instead of suddenly leaving for nine or ten hours a day, start easing them in to help reduce any separation anxiety.

Beth Brookhouser, Vice President of Marketing & Communications for SPCA of Monterey County suggests, "Maybe leave for 15 minutes and come back. Then leave for a half hour and come back. Consider putting a camera on your pet and see, are they just curling up on the couch and going to sleep while you're gone or are they pacing around and having anxiety."

If you have a pet who is anxious or adopted a puppy who has never been alone, you can contact the SPCA for help. They offer individualized training classes and have a behavior team to make sure there is a calm, comfortable transition for everybody.

Over the past year, the SPCA said they saw an increasing amount of people wanting to adopt and that hasn’t changed.

Brookhouser continues, “Right now, we’re not seeing any more returns than normal and we are not seeing any more animals being surrendered to us. On the website very few animals are up for adoption and that’s the way its been all year long."

Many people have been able to keep their pets with them during this time. And the SPCA is helping with that effort. Along with the classes and behavior training, there's the pet food donations. Before the pandemic they roughly handed out around 5000 lbs, now it's 130,000 lbs.

The SPCA says they're doing everything they can to assist pets and keep them where they belong, in their forever homes.

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Erika Bratten

Erika Bratten is a weather forecaster for KION News Channel 5/46.


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