The RSPCA has announced that it will restart its rehoming and fostering programme from this week.
Its frontline teams have continued to rescue animals throughout the pandemic, and the charity is currently caring for more than 4,800 animals.
Following Defra’s approval of guidelines, put together by the Canine and Feline Sector Group, to allow animal welfare charities in England to rehome safely during the pandemic, it will start rehoming through the use of a “new safe process”.
The group also revealed that in recent weeks there have been more than a million visits to its online rehoming page, a rise of almost 30%.
There has also been a “staggering” 600% increase in interest in fostering with more than 115,000 visits to its fostering page.
Chris Sherwood, CEO of the RSPCA, said: “We’ve continued to rescue and take in animals in need through this crisis and our frontline staff in our animal centres have done a sterling job in really tough circumstances, giving them the care and love that they need.
“But nothing can replace the care that a pet receives in a loving home so we are thrilled that we are going to be able to start finding them the families they desperately need right across England.”
He added: “Safety of the public, our staff and, of course, the animals is our highest priority and we have developed guidelines to ensure that we can rehome, foster and provide ongoing support for adopters and fosterers in a safe way.
“This means our animal centres will remain closed to the public and we have developed a number of measures to make sure we can maintain social distancing while finding animals new homes.”