As the coronavirus pandemic began last year, many animal shelters and rescues began seeing an increase in dog adoptions.
According to a Washington Post article in August, shelters, nonprofit rescues, private breeders and pet stores all reported more consumer demand than there dogs and puppies to fill it. Americans were working from home and had the time to care for a puppy or dog.
The same was true here in Washington County as the Jeanette Hunt Blair Animal Shelter also saw an increase in adoptions.
But now the volunteers and shelter manager are worried they are starting to see a trend: animals adopted in the last year are being returned to the shelter.
Animals can be returned for a number of reasons — no time, training issues or its not a good match.
Jenny Eriksen, treasurer of the Friends of Jeanette Hunt Animal Shelter, told the Enterprise they suspect one of the reasons animals are being returned is due to the pandemic.
“We've been wondering if it has to do with people going back to work and COVID-19 changing, people being out and about,” she said.
Anyone who has adopted a pet knows what the stress on living in a shelter with dozens of other animals can do to a dog or cat. How can someone knowingly send an animal back to that situation?
Adopting a pet is a big commitment and one that should be taken seriously. These animals are not rentals to test out before fully committing. You shouldn't get one unless you can make the time and effort it takes to be a responsible pet owner.