In Quebec, many people adopted a pet and welcomed it into the family during the pandemic and containment. The reasons are varied and interesting to discover. I just wanted to share with you some of these great stories, as a witness to the special relationship between humans and animals.
Natacha Gagné is a spiritual life and community engagement animator at the Paul-Gérin-Lajoie school in Outremont and lives in Mont-Saint-Hilaire with her partner Luc and her son Eliott. They already have a dog and two cats, but they did welcome another animal during the pandemic. “When we were asked to become a temporary foster family for a 9-month-old cat in need, I said yes without hesitation,” she says. “It is normal for us to help a refuge, because we love animals, and for my son, it was a beautiful project of confinement to socialize an animal” tells me Natacha Gagné. The first days were difficult, because the newcomer, Raspberry, remained permanently hidden. Over time, Raspberry became more curious and became friends with Chewbacca, the family dog. “He comes to see us for hugs, but prefers the company of the dog to ours,” she explains. “When the refuge contacted us, the choice was easy. We decided to keep it rather than put it back up for adoption. “
For her part, owner and creator of Liv and Léana, an online children’s clothing company from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Julie Pinsonneault came to the aid of a stray kitten. With the pandemic and containment, her daughter Léana, 3, began to miss her friends and missed her usual routine. “Her father and I had to keep working and I was trying to keep my job as busy as possible, but I also had to focus on my business,” said Pinsonneault.
“Léana asked us if she could have a little cat,” she explains. Why ? Certainly because of the stories of Caillou and his cat Gilbert that his parents read to him every night. Of course, they talked to her about the responsibilities that would follow. After numerous unsuccessful searches in shelters, Ms. Pinsonneault learned that a lady had found a litter of four kittens barely a month old in her shed. We went to see them and Léana fell in love: “Mama, he’s so cute! “Since then, Léana has literally turned into” a real little mother for this kitten. She takes care of it as if it were her baby, tells me Ms. Pinsonneault. Seeing her so happy fills me with happiness, she said. Now we have to find a name for it. ” Solange, Gilberte or Colette? For the moment, Léana changes her mind every day.
For her part, Carolane Besner, a sales representative in the camping industry, adopted a year-old rabbit named Monsieur Chocolat at the Montreal SPCA in the midst of a pandemic. It was to brighten up her house and to keep company with Chocolatine, their first rabbit, also a survivor and not very social with her daughter Abigaëlle, 6 years old. “We wanted not only to find a playful rabbit for Abigaëlle, but also to appease Chocolatine who lived alone all her life …” tells me this resident of Sainte-Brigide-d’Iberville, who adds that rabbits are gregarious and love to live with congeners. “Chocolate has brought comfort and routine to our family. We take care of the rabbits every day by brushing them, going to pick dandelions for them and preparing good fresh vegetables for them. This keeps us busy and allows us to think about their well-being instead of worrying about COVID-19 … “
So these are lucky animals and they are not the only ones, as demand has increased since the start of the pandemic. That said, the veterinarian in me wholeheartedly hopes that once COVID-19 is behind us, there will be no increase in the abandonment rate …