The unseen consequences of coronavirus: heartbreak for owners forced to give up their pets

With day to day life still dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, it’s sad but unsurprising that its effects and consequences are being felt by animals as well as humans.

Last month, three-year old Siberian Husky Ghost was signed over to animal charity, Mayhew after his owner lost their job as a result of lockdown and was therefore no longer able to provide a home for him.

The result of Ghost’s owner losing his job had a domino effect and meant they had to move back in with their mum, who has a severe dog allergy.

Although Ghost’s owner did not want to be parted from their best friend, they had no choice if they wanted a roof over their head – it would be impossible for Ghost to live with their mum, and they had nowhere else to go.

Thankfully, Mayhew were able to step in to work with Ghost’s owner and help make this heartbreaking situation as smooth and painless as possible.

A spokesperson for Mayhew commented: “Our Dog Adoption Officer, Lisa Guiney spoke extensively to Ghost’s owner, and carefully explained what support we could provide. They decided together that Ghost would be signed over to us and placed up for adoption, in order to secure him a happy and stable life where all of his specialist needs could be met.

“Whilst it was undoubtedly stressful and upsetting for Ghost’s owner, their primary concern was for Ghost’s welfare – and with us on side, they were able to receive practical and emotional support at every stage of Ghost’s transition. We spoke to and met up with the owner multiple times prior to admitting Ghost, following social distancing protocol, and explained how our rehoming processes work so that they felt informed and in control.”

The team at Mayhew also carried out a number of behavioural assessments on Ghost, both with and without his owner present, to gain the best idea of his personality and temperament to find him a perfect home.

The team game Ghost’s owner ample time to say goodbye before he was settled into the Kennels at the rehoming centre.

It only took a few weeks before Ghost found a brand new home and as soon as all the interviews and checks were complete he was able to start his new life with a new family.

A Mayhew spokesperson continued: “Although Ghost’s story has a happy, if bittersweet, ending, we know that he isn’t the first animal to fall victim to the challenging circumstances of this pandemic – and he certainly won’t be the last. As the effects of COVID-19 continue to bite into peoples’ health and finances, affecting their jobs and homes and families, more and more pet owners are likely to fall into an ‘at risk’ category.

“We are determined to help as many people in our community stay together with their animals for as long as possible, and our support services will also be there to help people who face no other choice but to find a new home for their pet. Our community outreach is more important than ever, and we are proud to offer a number of different services that help people and animals in need, no matter what the situation may be.

To find out more visit