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Pittsburgh Animal Rescue: Shelters 'Bursting At The Seams'

By: Erika Stanish/KDKA-TV

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Pets that were adopted during the pandemic are being surrendered and taken back to shelters at an alarming rate, according to a local rescue.

Paws Across Pittsburgh, a foster-based non-profit animal rescue, said 111 dogs in the first 13 days of the new year have been surrendered to local animal shelters.

"Every shelter across the country, everywhere, is just bursting at the seams with animals," said Diane Raible, a foster with Paws Across Pittsburgh.

Raible said the demand for adopting dogs was at an all-time high during the pandemic because residents were stuck at home. As many now head back to work, she said animals are being sent back to shelters.

"The dog who has not spent five minutes alone has to be alone and they're becoming destructive, barking and having behavioral issues. And we're finding that people are surrendering, saying that they don't have the time," Raible said.

She said because of the influx of animals being surrendered, innocent dogs are being euthanized.

"Ty was on the euthanize list," Karen Gleason said.

Gleason said as a foster parent, she takes in dogs that were left behind.

The rescue is getting slammed with requests to pull dogs and cats. Shelters that we work with are bursting at the seams...

Posted by Paws Across Pittsburgh on Wednesday, January 12, 2022

"We got to watch it go from scared and broken to loving and ready for a home and it's been amazing," Gleason said.

With more dogs in need of a home, Paws Across Pittsburgh said it's looking for more foster parents before it's too late.

"We provide all the supplies, we provide all the vet care. You provide the love and a warm home and save a life," Raible said.

Meanwhile, Gleason said anyone that is considering surrendering their pet should consider getting training first.

"If your life changes a little bit, if you just take a little time, reach out and get some advice. Watch some good training YouTube videos, and just start to learn how to crate train, how to adapt your dog to changes in your personal life. They will adapt, right?" Gleason said. "Those changes are harder for us than it is for them. As long as we give them the proper care and the proper training to do so, it's possible."

"Your dog will never give up on you, and it's heartbreaking to see people give up," Raible said.

To learn more about becoming a foster, click here.

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