Hundreds of unwanted pets are getting the chance to find new homes under alert level 3, with the SPCA now offering "contactless adoptions".
The SPCA currently has nearly 2411 animals in foster homes nationwide, including cats, dogs, goats, guinea pigs, horses, fowl, and even rodents, as well as others still in its shelters.
SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen said the Ministry for Primary Industries had signed off on the new protocols for animal adoptions.
"If someone wants to adopt an animal, they go on the website and have a look at the animals and then put in an application," Midgen said.
"We take that online and then we sort an appointment for them to come and pick up the animal.
"But it's in a separated space so we drop the animal in a contained area and then the adopter comes in and collects it."
People wanting to adopt a pet from the SPCA are vetted by phone and must supply photographs of their properties to prove they are suitable.
Would-be dog-owners need to have a fully fenced yard.
Wellington SPCA manager Ros Alsford said the phones have been running hot.
"We've been absolutely inundated with requests - a lot of people have been asking if they can adopt animals. But it's a whole new system for us, so we're asking people to be a little bit more patient with us so we can get through the process."
The Wellington shelter, which usually houses up to 70 animals, currently has fewer than 20 animals in residence, with most having been farmed out to foster families just before the country went into lockdown.
"It was an absolute phenomenal push on all the teams' part and we managed to get over a thousand animals out to foster in a very short space of time."
Many of these foster families have fallen in love with their animals and have applied to adopt them. Wellington woman Corinna Bennett is one of them.
Her two cats, Bubbles and Timmy, were originally "foster cats" that stayed.
Timmy was originally called "Timid".
"He's definitely not now. He is an absolute smooch now, he comes up for attention all the time."
Bennett took in an extra moggy just ahead of lockdown.
While the SPCA did a great job of getting animals in tip-top health and physically ready for re-homing, a real home gave them more practice at family life, she said.
"So I really love having animals come in that are maybe a little bit scared or are just young and inexperienced and showing them how great it is to interact with humans.
"I love seeing them learning to come to me when I come in the room, or purr when I touch them.
"It's huge steps sometimes for these cats and it gives me the warm fuzzies, I guess."
The SPCA said all animals going to permanent homes needed to be vaccinated, microchipped and desexed, which could not be done under alert level 4.
Therefore, it will take time to clear the backlog and make them all available for adoption.