Coronavirus: Animal sanctuary says surrenders on the rise during COVID-19 pandemic

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Animal surrenders rise amid pandemic
WATCH: With animal adoptions rising during the pandemic, there has been concern from rescue organizations that people are not stable enough financially to properly care for their new pets. Brittany Rosen has more. – Jan 15, 2021

As more animals are being adopted during the coronavirus pandemic, there has been concern from rescue organizations that families aren’t financially equipped to properly care for their new pets.

Dog Tales Rescue & Sanctuary in King City says they’ve been receiving at least 10 surrender applications a day during the pandemic. They say most of them have been for dogs and horses.

“They just can’t financially deal with it,” said senior dog handler Cassandra Ferrante.

“The people that are getting puppies during this time are kind of doing it in the heat of the moment and not really thinking about the long-term and how much work goes into owning an animal.”

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Currently, Durham police are investigating after coming across an abandoned pit bull puppy in a metal cage that had died. Officers say the dog was malnourished.

“It is a little unsettling, given the fact that the pit bull was deceased,” said Const. Conrad Wong.

“Our officers are going to continue to investigate this matter, and see if we can identify any suspects.”

Animal experts are calling it a heartbreaking example of what could potentially go wrong when an animal enters an unstable home.

The Humane Society of Durham Region says the organization carries out a thorough adoption process.

“We don’t just adopt to someone just because they want an animal,” said Cindy Bennett, a volunteer on the board of directors.

“We try and make sure there’s a match, and there is a question of financial capability during the interview process.”

HSDR says although they’ve had a limited number of people surrendering their animals, this could change when the pandemic comes to an end and as people start to go back to work.

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“Our shelter, like many others, are very worried about the possibility that animals will come flooding back into shelters when people return to work and their animals are suffering from separation anxiety.”

Bennett says while this could be months away, people should train their animals to get used to being alone for long periods of time.

She adds abandoning an animal is never a good idea and urges individuals to turn to their pet food bank if there’s a need for additional support.

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