The territory's pet adoption rate has spiked during the latest Covid lockdown and is predicted to double the average.
However, the RSPCA is warning potential adopters not to make impulsive decisions to safeguard animals and to avoid further pressure on the chronic vet shortage.
It comes as ACT government data also shows a 400 per cent increase in dog registrations in July after a new annual dog registration process was introduced.
ACT RSPCA's CEO Michelle Robertson said that since reopening their shelter for adoption on August 23 after having shut down since the lockdown began 11 days earlier, they have had about 120 applications and 28 animals going to homes during four of those days.
"That's massive, it's very significant," Ms Robertson said.
"Our base is roughly between 25 and 35 animals a week going to homes.
"Last year around March and April during the first lockdown, we saw the adoption doubled, spiking to 40 and 50.
"That might be the trend this time again as I suspect we'll be in this situation for a while."
Ms Robertson said the lockdown and the types of animals - with dogs and cats being the most popular - being available were the two key drivers of how much the spike would be.
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Ms Robertson said she was grateful for the interest but for anyone looking to adopt, it "can't be an impulsive decision" as animals being surrendered were high.
"You can't wake up and decide you're going to adopt an animal today, it must be something that you're committed to and preferably committed for the lifetime of that animal. It is a big decision," she said.
"You've already rescued an animal so as far as I'm concerned, you've got angel wings, but know that you need to be patient and know that it takes a little bit of time for assimilation."
She said that with people spending more time at home, they were also paying more attention to their pets' health needs.
"It can be a good thing but also potentially create other problems," Ms Robertson said.
"Our colleagues in private veterinary practices last year got slammed because of that."
Greencross Vets Majura Park's director Dr Brooke White said the demand for services remained consistently high throughout the changing restrictions and lockdowns.
She said Covid rules and measures, such as contactless consultations and QR codes scanning, meant more time was needed for clients, stretching the already stretched vet teams.
"Clients are spending more time with pets so are more in touch with their pets' needs and pet ownership rose greatly last year, which results in greater demand for vet care," Dr White said.
"Additionally, lockdown creates opportunity for people to do more with their pets that may create greater opportunity for injury or illness.
"Now the weather is starting to warm up, we are also starting to see snake bites and skin disease."
"We are also seeing a trend in people booking in for something considered urgent then requesting non-urgent additions to the original consult booking, so we urge pet owners to be mindful that there are seeing many emergency cases."
Dr White said the veterinary profession was working harder than ever to keep pets safe and encouraged clients to be understanding.
Fellow vet Dr Jacob Michelsen, managing director of Canberra's Animal Referral Hospital, said demand "increased by 30 per cent in the first lockdown without an increase in workforce or facilities and has not really altered since then".
Dr Michelsen encouraged pet owners to try to prevent the preventable, such as ensuring no access to potentially toxic material.
An ACT government spokesperson said new dog registrations averaged 456 per month before March 2021.
"New dog registrations for August 2021 have decreased since July 2021 but are still well above what would normally be expected when compared to August 2020," they said.
"This downturn is more likely attributed to the completion of the new annual dog registration advertising campaign in July 2021, which resulted in some owners registering their dogs for the first time, and not the current COVID-19 lockdown."
Nationally, 62 per cent of people have a pet and are spending $1.3 billion annually on vet services according to Finder's pet insurance statistics in March.
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