Pandemic puppies being returned at an alarming rate, Colorado shelter says

National News

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — Pandemic puppy adoptions were through the roof, but now the exact opposite is happening. Animal rescues are seeing record numbers of dogs being returned.  

People have spent the past year working from home, spending lots of time with their new puppies, but that is coming to an end.  

“We made a lot of changes to our adoption process to prevent people from returning dogs once pandemic ended. But for the past four months, we have had an extreme number of returns. We have doubled more than what we normally do during a year. I think what is happening, the world is opening up, people are going back to work, they’re traveling. People aren’t just lonely anymore, so the dogs are not necessarily fitting into their lifestyles, and they are returning them instead of trying to make adjustments to keep their dog now that the world is opening up,” Aron Jones, executive director of Moms and Mutts Colorado Rescue said.

Jones added people have had a change of schedule and a change of heart. “It’s awful. We watch these dogs come in the front door. Their people fill out all the paperwork and drop them off and the dog sits at the door and cries,” he said. 

In the past four months, they’ve had more returns than they normally have in an entire year. They currently have more than 200 dogs available. And with fewer people adopting, it is putting a financial strain on the rescue. They need food and donations.

“We are going through 25-30 bags of dog food a week because we have so many returns, the adult dogs are eating a full bag of food a week. Then all of our puppies are bigger. We really just need to be able to sustain these dogs until they get adopted, really become a financial burden for us. Without any adoption fees, we are dying,” Jones said.

They want to encourage people to adopt and know there are options like training and doggie daycare for people to consider before returning a pet.

Other shelters and rescues are seeing the same trend. Adoptions have really slowed, and there are plenty of animals available.  

Animal Rescue of the Rockies director said they have been flooded with requests to transport or foster dogs from shelters that are full because people are surrendering dogs. To volunteer to foster a dog go to their web site: www.arrcolorado.org

The Denver Dumb Friends League is holding a dog adoption special this weekend, May 7 through May 10. This special offers 50% off adult dogs at all three of their companion animal centers: The Leslie A. Malone Center in Denver, Buddy Center in Castle Rock and the San Luis Valley Animal Center in Alamosa.

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