Shawnee animal shelter says many pets adopted during pandemic have returned

After a record year of pet adoption during the pandemic, many Kansas City area animal shelters say they are now seeing them being fired as their owners return to work. One-year-old Doberman Hank is one such comeback. “He was actually born into our care,” said Kaitlin Thompson, of Melissa’s Second Chances. As a 2 month old puppy, he was quickly adopted, then returned six months later when his owner returned to work. Sometimes it’s because the dog no longer meets their lifestyle needs, ”said Thompson. It’s a similar story for Freddy. He’s back in a kennel at Melissa’s Second Chances. Shelter workers said the dogs returned to the shelter were confusing to them, including Freddy. “They never know what’s going on, and it’s the toughest day,” Thompson said. With nearly 180 pets now in their system, Thompson said she understands owners pets don’t always match, but adoption returns linked to COVID-19 are now overwhelming. “There are fewer people looking to adopt an older dog,” Thompson said. The shelter said right now it’s a citywide problem. A number of animals that were adopted as puppies are now rendered as adult dogs. On top of that, adoptions are down to about half of what they were at this time last year. “The world is opening up again, so people don’t want to adopt,” Thompson said. Last year, the shelter adopted more than 1,400 pets. This year, that number is only 434. “Nobody adopts a dog because they don’t want them to be part of their family,” said Thompson. She said they normally have about eight cats to adopt, but with returns, the shelter has about 40. Thompson said 90% of families who have returned pets have declined offers of free training for them. help to cope with problems related to pets. The shelter said it is currently in need of foster homes.

After a record year of pet adoption during the pandemic, many Kansas City area animal shelters say they are now seeing them being fired as their owners return to work.

Hank, a one-year-old Doberman mix, is one such comeback.

“He was actually born into our care,” said Kaitlin Thompson, of Melissa’s Second Chances.

A 2 month old puppy, he was quickly adopted and returned six months later when his owner returned to work.

“Often it’s because the dog no longer meets the needs of its lifestyle,” said Thompson.

It’s a similar story for Freddy. He’s back in a kennel at Melissa’s Second Chances. Shelter workers said the dogs returned to the shelter were confusing to them, including Freddy.

“They never know what’s going on, and it’s the toughest day,” Thompson said.

With nearly 180 pets now in their system, Thompson said she understands that owners and pets don’t always mix well, but adoption returns linked to COVID-19 are now overwhelming.

“There are fewer people looking to adopt an older dog,” Thompson said.

The shelter said right now it’s a citywide problem. A number of animals that were adopted as puppies are now rendered as adult dogs. On top of that, adoptions are down to about half of what they were at this time last year.

“The world is opening up again so people don’t want to adopt,” Thompson said.

Last year, the shelter adopted more than 1,400 pets. This year, that number is only 434.

“No one adopts a dog because they don’t want them to be part of their family,” Thompson said.

She said normally they have around eight cats available for adoption, but with returns the shelter has around 40.

Thompson said 90% of families who have returned pets have turned down offers of free training to help them deal with pet-related issues.

The shelter said it is currently in need of foster homes.

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