Dutch animal shelters empty following coronavirus lockdown

Dutch animal shelters empty following coronavirus lockdown

This summer, animal shelters across the Netherlands are emptier than ever reported - as a direct result of the coronavirus lockdown.

Adopting pets during the Dutch lockdown

Normally, as summer approaches and many people head off on summer holidays, animal shelters up and down the country experience an influx of pets. Typically, lots of people book holidays and decide to give up their pet before they leave. Many shelters therefore run campaigns during the summer months to encourage members of the public to adopt an animal. However, with many people opting to stay home this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, shelters are staying empty. 

Furthermore, the intelligent lockdown implemented by the Dutch government to control the spread of the coronavirus resulted in people spending a lot more time at home with little to occupy them. This meant plenty of people saw it as the perfect opportunity to get a pet, and decided to adopt.

>Source: NOS Jeugdjournaal

The animal shelter in Helmond reported in June that more than half of their animal cages were empty. Similarly, the animal shelter in Utrecht is half empty, with employee Bart Dielissen telling NOS Jeugdjournaal he hadn’t seen the shelter so empty in 25 years of working there. 

Many shelters do fear an influx of animals once life returns to “normal”: “We want serious animal lovers [to adopt our animals]. Of course, you can't have animals that are adopted now being dumped again after the coronavirus crisis,” Nicole Kouwen, manager at De Kuipershoek near Apeldoorn, told Omroep Gelderland.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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