PEOPLE are being urged to foster pets during coronavirus isolation as an animal rescue centre expects an influx of abandoned animals.

As tougher rules come into force, St Giles Animal Rescue Centre is hoping to be as helpful as possible over the coming months.

“We can’t just abandon the animals,” said Vanessa Linnell, owner of the centre.

“There are several areas we are trying to help. We get a huge amount of support locally and from further away.

“With people in isolation, elderly and NHS workers, we what to do what we can.”

The centre will be giving out as much free advice as possible, including enrichment ideas to keep pets busy, free nurse consults, and calming techniques for your pets.

They can deliver pet supplies, medication, and they offer a doggie daycare service.

Discounts are on offer for elderly people needing pet care while in hospital, or for NHS workers.

The animal rescue centre, which takes in stray and unwanted pets through the community, fears it may be about to see a surge in people having to give up their furry friends.

Currently there are 40 dogs at the centre.

Ms Linnell added: “We anticipate being very busy taking in animals. If people lose their jobs, or are struggling financially, the first thing that could go would be a pet.

“We’ve already got a lot of animals recently brought in from puppy farms.”

But luckily, fluffy cuddles are a good cure for loneliness and can help improve mental health, as well as giving you a reason to do some exercise.

She said: “Lots of people are at home, and fostering a pet could help with loneliness and isolation, and can help people get some exercise.

“We will support people with food and vet care, so they don’t need to worry about that.”

If you would like to access these support services for yourself or a loved one, email, call 01823 490333.