Animal Shelters are Refilling

by Ayushi Jani ’25

Source: New York Post

Published Nov. 24th, 2022

When the global pandemic began, animal adoption rates surged as pets provided companionship and entertainment at home. However, over the past year, costs of everyday necessities in the United States have escalated to a point where many are struggling to provide for themselves and their families, and these animals are being left without homes once again. 

“Many shelters report in recent months that the reasons people are needing to give up their animals has changed,” Executive Director of Shelter Animals Count, Stephanie Filer, told CNBC. “They’re now more commonly seeing issues related to housing or finances as why families – often tearfully – are forced to say goodbye to their family’s pet.”

Best Friends Animal Society, a network of animal shelters, recently conducted research on the reasons leading to the surrender of animals. According to their data, housing issues accounted for 13.7% of pet relinquishments – an increase of 2.6% from the pandemic. 

In addition to this, the society also gathered data to see if there was any correlation between how an animal was acquired and surrenders to shelters. The results showed that for dogs, 32% of those acquired from the community rather than a shelter, rescue, or breeder made up 61.8% of all dog surrenders, and for cats, 47% of those from the community made up 79.4% of those relinquished.

Those who purchase pets not through an organization are seen to be significantly more likely to give them up, implying that people often struggle without the resources and support an organization can offer.

The increase in the amount of animal surrenders is most directly related to personal financial issues brought by life after the pandemic. People who are thinking about adopting should carefully consider their ability to care for the animal before making such a decision, in order to ensure a happy and healthy life for both.

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