DENVER (CBS4)- As more people adopted pets during the pandemic, the opposite is happening now. More pets are being surrendered to animal shelters.
The Denver Animal Shelter has reached what they are calling a "capacity crisis" for dogs and small animals. They are asking the community for help.
"People are going back to work, and travel is opening back up again. We see some of those animals coming back because they are no longer a good fit for the person's lifestyle," said Meghan Dillmore, Services Manager at the Denver Animal Shelter.
So far this year, the shelter has seen a 35% increase in surrendered pets over the same timeframe in 2019. Pets are also spending longer in the shelter before being adopted.
"We just want to get these animals into good homes we just don't want the adoption cost to be a barrier," said Dillmore.
The Denver Animal Shelter is asking the community for help in keeping surrendered pets in a stable home. The shelter is asking pet owners to consider other options before surrendering an animal, like asking family, friends, and neighbors or placing a notice on social media. They also offer resources to help pet owners with food and other supplies if they are having trouble making ends meet.
The shelter is asking for help with fostering pets until they can find a permanent home. Food and kennel can be covered by the shelter. Also, check shelters first before buying a pet, especially a hamster or guinea pig.
Over at the Dumb Friends League, they are not accepting any dogs or small animals though Sunday.
"People are struggling to provide care for their animals if they are struggling with their own finances or housing," said Courtney Knerr at Dumb Friends League.
The shelter believes it's not just the waning pandemic, but also economic factors that may contribute to the surge in surrendered pets.
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