Unlikely trend emerges during virus lockdown
AN unlikely trend has emerged on the Tweed since the coronavirus pandemic forced the shutdown of all non-essential businesses.
Hundreds of families have welcomed a four-legged friend to the home after being stood down or work from home according to a local pet rescue.
Friends of the Pound president Sonia Tritcher said volunteers have been run off their feet trying to keep up with the demand of people wanting a companion animal.
Ms Trichter said the organisation had sold a record number of cats and dogs were just as popular.
She said 77 cats and kittens were adopted since March 1 which brought the total of felines sold to 256 this financial year.
"Usually we sell around 200 a year, but we've sold 256 this financial year already," Ms Tritcher said.
"Dogs are going equally as quickly. From the beginning of March we have sold 12.
"We still have quite a lot of animals … between South Tweed and Murwillumbah, we have about 20 between those two shops.
"We've also been supplying kittens to Pet Barn and they're selling about 10 a week.
"I just hope people do the right thing by their new best friend when things go back to normal and they have to go back to work."
It is business as usual for Friend of the Pound, however, Ms Tritcher said the not-for-profit organisation was losing much-needed income from raffle ticket sales.
She said two of her volunteers had stepped back from fundraising at local supermarkets due to underlying health issues and the fear of contracting coronavirus.
"Our raffle ticket sellers are in their 70s and 80s and we pulled back in the early stages because they're all vulnerable.
"Selling the animals is filling the short fall otherwise we wouldn't have any income apart from online donations.
"If this keeps up for a year, which I hope it doesn't, we would lose $30,000 a year in income."
Ms Tritcher said FOTP had also experienced a downturn in pet food donations since the coronavirus hit the Tweed.
"Our food bins aren't returning the same amount of food as they used to," she said.
"We really need wet food donations which can be put in the food bins outside most of the supermarkets in Tweed, or they can be dropped at our centres.
"People can come in as long as they sanitise their hands and do the 1.5m social distancing."
Donations can be dropped at 17/39 - 41 Corporation Circuit, Tweed Heads South, or 1/29a Prospero St, Murwillumbah South.