FARMINGTON, NM — When you have to return your pet, dropping it off at an animal shelter can have a sad outcome. A refuge in the Four Corners tries to avoid this.
“Some of the saddest things I’ve ever seen are pets abandoned by their owners,” said Stacie Voss, director of animal welfare at Farmington Regional Animal Shelter.
Over the past year, Voss has seen a steady increase in the number of people giving up on their pets.
“This whole year has really been pretty bad. 2020, 2021 have been almost cake walks compared to what they have been this year, we just saw a lot more need in general,” Voss said. “There’s a lot of economic hardship right now and so people are going through tough times and pets are going to suffer because of it.”
The shelter therefore appropriates its own, by setting up a new online tool.
“From house to house is really a kind of interface allowing owners to find easier ways to relocate their animal rather than bringing it to the shelter, it connects people looking to relocate their animals and people looking for an animal said Voss.
People who want to part with their pet can log into the website and post a photo of their pet along with a description. Once the shelter approves it, adopters can reach out.
“If you can talk to the previous owner of this pet, you can ask all the questions you need to ask and make sure this pet will be the perfect fit for your family,” Voss added.
While your pet can stay on the couch and out of the kennel.
“Not having to see these owners go and stop and be scared or get sick would be great for us, they never have to come here, they connect online, these animals go straight from house to house another house,” Voss said.
The shelter is also launching a surrender prevention program to help people who want to keep their pet but who have difficulty doing so. Voss said they are currently helping people with pet supplies, but hope to expand the program in the near future, so more pets can stay home.