Important Information From Ingham County Animal Control & Shelter
MASON, MI - For many pet owners, the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order has allowed them to be home with their animals all day, every day. With people working from home, pets are getting a lot of attention and time spent with their owners, but that all will change once the order is lifted and people return to work. For some animals, specifically dogs, they may face separation anxiety due to this return.
That’s why the Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter (ICACS) has this tip for pet owners to help ease that transition, “As time goes on, make sure you are still leaving the house occasionally, even if it’s just going into the backyard or taking a walk around the block. You don’t have to take Fido or Fluffy with you every single time,” said Kate Turner, Customer Service & Community Outreach Manager for ICACS. “So give them those five minute breaks, ten minute breaks, leave them at home when you’re going grocery shopping, things like that just so they’re still used to you leaving the house and having it be an okay thing.”
In a press release sent out this week, they also suggest giving your pet a toy to keep them busy while you’re gone and to put it away when you return. If you are unable to leave the house for any reason, you can at least leave your pet in a different room than you. If your pet has trouble being left behind, ICACS says that scent therapy collars or plug-ins, white noise machines, or even TV/radio in the background may help with separation issues.
Speaking more on this, Turner says, “They’ve done fine with this for years and years, this isn’t going to be detrimental to them, as long as they have that scale back period where they get used to their humans being gone more and more often.”
She also mentioned that they are seeing an increase in adoptions during this time, but that ICACS is making sure people understand the commitment it takes to own an animal. Just because they are home now, doesn’t mean they always will be once things return to normal.
However, there is another option for people who may want an animal, but don’t wish to adopt, “We are doing a great job with foster parenting. People that might not have originally been home to spend time with an animal, maybe they travel a lot for work, so getting a dog isn’t a great idea. They’re taking a great opportunity to foster pets in their home,” says Turner. “They get to have that companionship, and then they’re not stuck with that long term responsibility.”
Another hardship that has come with the pandemic is pet owners not being able to provide food or supplies to their pets. The shelter in place order has put many people out of work, with some not yet receiving any financial assistance from the government. Because of this, ICACS is working to ensure that community members have access to supplies they may need during this time, “We are running multiple food banks around the county, so pet food, cat litter, things like that. We are trying to make sure people have access. We don’t want anybody to feel they might not be able to buy those food items, or that they feel the need to surrender their pet.”
Information about how to receive pet supplies for those in need, as well as how to donate if you’re able, can be found on their website below.
To watch the full interview with Kate, head over to HOMTV’s YouTube.