Merritt animal shelter says pandemic puppies being returned post-COVID | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Merritt animal shelter says pandemic puppies being returned post-COVID

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When the the pandemic started and people were suddenly home with nothing to do, getting a pet was an obvious choice. For more than a year, cats and dogs seemed impossible to find.

Now, as the novelty wears off, borders open and travel begins, some owners are abandoning them.

Judanna Dawn, with Angel’s Animal Rescue in Merritt, said she started seeing an increase in dogs being dropped off last month.

“There was a period during COVID-19 times, when there were no dogs available for adoption but now if you look around, the rescues are full again, the pounds are having dogs dropped off randomly, we’re finding more abandoned animals but before COVID, it was the same,” she said.

“During COVID, everyone wanted an animal and now things are going in a different way with COVID, we have seen we’re going backwards with the dogs.”

READ MORE: Changes, challenges: The not-so-secret life of pandemic pets

Animal rescues are always busy, she said, because too many people make the wrong decision to have a pet that doesn’t fit their lives.

“We have a lot of young dogs which would coincide with the fact that someone bought a puppy at the beginning of COVID and now they don’t want one anymore,” Dawn said.

At the B.C. SPCA however, spokesperson Lorie Chortyk said via email the non-profit always has a steady stream of surrenders this time of year, but it’s more related to cat breeding season than the pandemic.

Return rates for pets have actually dropped amid the pandemic, from 5% to 3%, she said.

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