Why Are There So Many Dogs And Cats Available For Adoption?
Otis, age 2, is a recent surrender at Second Chance Animal Rescue. Visit secondchanceanimals.org for an adoption application.
DEAR PET TALK: What exactly is going on? Why are there so many pets in shelters these days?
DEAR READERS: Regrettably, this is correct. More pets are being surrendered to shelters, and they are of varying ages. I've been writing "Pet of the Week" for the past seven years, and the number of accessible pets has remained fairly consistent. There were substantially fewer pets accessible in shelters during the epidemic and lockdown (spring 2020 forward). People had returned home and were adopting like crazy. Shelter volunteers, on the other hand, expressed concerns that once the eviction moratorium was lifted and people returned to work, many dogs would be abandoned or taken to shelters.
That is precisely what has occurred. We had over 100 kittens in care, Nicole Roberts, executive director of Ahimsa Haven Animal Rescue, said earlier this year. Our kitten rise, I assume, is due in large part to owners who were unable to get their cats spayed or neutered, as well as those who never planned."
Volunteers from Ahimsa Haven also keep track of animals that are "given away on Facebook" and encourage owners to surrender unwanted pets to their sanctuary. However, many pets pose difficulties for potential adopters.
New Zealand dispatches a plane to investigate the volcano's devastation in the Pacific.
Many are unfixed and no longer a good fit for the house, Roberts said, adding that young cats are surrendered due to behavior issues caused by environmental factors such as irresponsible owners, some of whom may have lost their housing due to the eviction moratorium's end, or who got cats that were not allowed per their tenancy.
The death of an owner or relocation to a residential-care facility are the most common reasons for older cats and dogs to end up in a shelter. These are the pets you see that may have medical problems that require continual attention. Some have come from owners who died as a result of COVID-19, making these cases even more tragic.
Environmental crises in other parts of the United States were also an influence. "The Massachusetts Department of Agriculture (which regulates animal shelters and rescues) relaxed up standards to allow more animals in because of the disasters in the middle and south of the country," says Priscilla Deschamps, director of the Pat Brody Shelter for Cats of Lunenburg. DOA is normally highly stringent and restrictive." This explains the large number of dogs and cats stranded in the Northeast due to flooding in Kentucky.
What options do you have? If you have family or friends who have an outside cat that isn't neutered, encourage them to get it fixed. The same goes for dogs.
Supplies are always needed at shelters, but funds for vet and medical expenses are especially welcome. Many area shelters, as well as Leominster/Fitchburg Animal Control, collaborate in "Pet of the Week."