Wimmera animal rescue groups continue operations but some have been "run off their feet" with enquiries about adopting dogs amid the COVID-19 shutdown.
Phoenix Animal Rescue Horsham founder Carolyn Stow said the number of cat and kitten adoptions remained steady but there was an increased interest in dogs.
"Obviously we're being very careful that this is not just a spike in interest and they want it just while they are at home," she said.
"A lot of our questioning is around their lifestyle prior to COVID-19, what has triggered things for them now to be looking for a dog, what their (routine) is going to look like post COVID-19, whenever that is.
"We have changed our precautions significantly to adjust to the pandemic. What we're doing is continuing with phone and email conversations but we have also been running video meets with potential adopters of our cats so they can actually see the environment they are in.
"We then have a pop-up tent environment in the garage (of the foster home) if we do have a family matched to a particular cat or a kitten."
Ms Stow said only one member of the family could enter the tent to meet the animal and they were required to use hand sanitiser and have F10 sprayed on their shoes before going in.
"It's a whole process that's involved but people have been really good about it and we've had some adoptions," she said.
Ararat Dog Rescue president Jill Worrell said they were also getting an boost in people wanting to add a furry friend to their family, with enquiries coming from as far as Melbourne.
"Today I had about seven phone calls," she said. "Unfortunately most people seem to be interested in the small toy dogs, which we don't get a lot of. We tend to get the working breeds and bigger."
Ms Worrell said at this point there had been no directive to stop adoption from the government but she said if it happened the organisation would struggle financially .
"We've still got to house and feed the dogs but we would have no money coming in," she said. "We can't do the fundraising drives we normally do, the markets are cancelled for the foreseeable future.
"Basically the only income we have is whatever we get from the dogs we put up for adoption."
Ms Worrell said things were made harder by the fact the organisation had donated half of their takings from recent markets to bushfire relief.
Horsham PAWS president Penny Stemp said she was being very cautious with adoptions to ensure people were serious about committing to pet ownership in the long-term.
"If I get a really good enquiry I am following those up," she said.
"But if the kids are just looking for something to do while they're in lockdown and the (parents) thought a kitten would be fun then that's the kind of (enquiry) I'm giving a big swerve to."
Mrs Stemp said she was still taking animals in where she could but "had to be sensible with what we've got", with their op-shop closed and restrictions stopping them from doing events and stalls.
"Our costs will increase too because we'll have the animals for longer so we'll be paying for their food and boosters," she said.
Mrs Stemp said they were also being "very careful" with who they accepted as foster carers, preferring people already in their network.
"We're not looking to provide entertainment for just the next few months," she said. "Quite a bit of work goes into assessing a foster carer."
Adoptable Pet Rescue in Stawell have also had an increase in adoptions in the last month but President Lindsey said they were looking at suspending them as meet and greets weren't possible with current restrictions.
"The last adoption that we had was carried out by advising a time to the foster carer and adopter and leaving the carrier inside an internal gate where the sisters could be collected," she said.
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"Obviously this is not ideal but the adoption had been arranged prior to the stage three restrictions coming into effect.
"Prior to the stage three lock down we had adoptions where the adopters brought their own pens to sign paperwork and the like. This has been a huge learning curve."
Lindsey said they expected to see an increase in surrenders due to the worrying economic uncertainty that people might be facing.
"We would like to encourage people who do find it hard to financially care for their animals to seek help from food bank, local councils, neighbourhood houses and the like," she said.
"Having an animal to help you through these tough situations is very important."
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