GENEVA — While the pandemic led many people to adopt pets during quarantine, Kane County shelters are overwhelmed as many people are now surrendering their animals.
Many have pointed to the economy, inflation and returning back in-person to work as reasons why they have given up their pets, said Kane County Animal Control Executive Director Brett Youngsteadt.
An increase in people surrendering pets began in August according to the Kane County Animal Control Department, which is currently booked up for people looking to surrender pets until early 2023. He said local shelters are also seeing a rise in pets being brought into their facilities.
The department requires people to schedule appointments to surrender pets so it can adequately plan and have enough space for the animals. The shelter has to keep at least 10% of its cages open for strays, officials said.
“We are not a large facility and I don’t ever want to turn away a stray animal because we want to make sure we can return it to its owner. We prioritize stray animals because mistakes happen,” Youngsteadt said.
Around 23 million Americans adopted pets during April and May 2020 in the early days of the pandemic, which is nearly one in five households, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Now, Youngsteadt says he is seeing many people who have had to downsize for economic reasons and cannot take their pets with them into their new, smaller home.
“Some dogs are having trouble with folks going back to work, and the majority of what we’ve heard and seen is a lot of economic reasons of people who had to downsize their homes and saw rent prices increasing,” said Dean Daubert, Anderson Humane’s chief operating officer.
Anderson Humane, which runs an animal shelter in South Elgin and an adoption center in North Aurora, is also currently over capacity with more animals than they have space for, a condition they have been facing since late summer.
Daubert said they are grateful to run a robust foster program that has taken in some of the additional surrendered pets.
For those looking at getting a pet, Daubert recommends choosing a pet that matches their lifestyle. For example, someone could adopt an older pet if they have a low-activity lifestyle.
There is no one specific type of pet people are returning, Youngsteadt said. Even bunnies and hamsters have been sent back, he said.
“It’s always a hard decision to have to surrender your pet and we try to not take judgment because sometimes it’s a trying time in their lives and isn’t a good fit for their family any longer,” Daubert said. “No one feels good about having to surrender a pet, but sometimes it’s the best choice for them or the animal.”
People can sign up to foster animals with Anderson Humane on its website at ahconnects.org or apply to volunteer with Kane County Animal Control at www.kanecountypets.com.
I’d expect nothing less from a mother and her newborn baby chimpanzee. Yair Ben-Dor has more.
With a shortage of workers in Japan, a robotics company invented a spider-like friend to help. Yair Ben-Dor has more.
John Cavalieri hears his new heart for the first time. Buzz60’s Elizabeth Keatinge has more.
The latest symbolic image of resistance to come out of Iran: Video posted to social media showing protesters attacking the former home of the …
NASA’s newest telescope is giving us a glimpse into deep space like never before.
Russia continued its campaign of missile strikes on Ukrainian cities, leaving Ukrainians struggling to find warmth due to electricity cuts.
It’s a turn just 48 hours before the first match. Veuer’s Tony Spitz has the details.
‘The hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus,’ the 82-year-old outgoing House speaker says.
Credit: Source link