Animal rescue groups say more animals are being abandoned due to pandemic

Alice mayn runs Lily’s Legacy Senior Dog Sanctuary, a sanctuary in the small California town of Petaluma for large breed dogs over the age of seven. Recently, she encountered a COVID-19 situation that directly involved her organization’s mission. She was contacted by 58-year-old former construction worker John Crowe, who had three large dogs that he could no longer care for because he was suffering from financial problems due to the pandemic.

“He had a hunting lodge in the mountains in California and he was going about his business because of it,” recalls Mayn. “And he had to move to the Bay Area, and he had three dogs that he had had all their lives since they were puppies.” They included two Labrador retrievers and a mix of dogs, ages seven, nine and 11. He handed them over to Mayn’s Shrine.

“We were able to find them a wonderful home together which was our goal because they were very bonded,” said Mayn. “And since they moved to their new home, they’ve been doing very, very well.” Mayn said the new owner is still in touch with the previous owner, who is happy that they are still together.

Mayn’s story is not unusual. Stories of animals rescued during the pandemic grabbed the headlines of California To Florida. Reports of a drastic increase in the number of abandoned animals have been reported in states such as Alabama, Ohio and Nevada. UK, hundreds of puppies that were bought during containment are now disowned and sold.

“As of March, our animal cruelty investigator team, which has 10 full-time animal cruelty investigators, has seen an approximately 20% increase in abandonment cases. Julie kuenstle, vice president of communications and marketing at the Houston SPCA, told Salon, saying “they just noticed an increase during the pandemic.” (The pandemic began in the United States in March 2020.)

Kuenstle recalled a case in July where, along with the Houston Police Department, they took over “a puppy, four dogs, a chinchilla, a cat and a mouse after being left in the sweltering heat in deplorable living conditions. Don’t sit who was abandoned in a field, ‘who was rescued with a cat. Yet another time, Kuenstle remembered an abandoned puppy suffering from hair loss who couldn’t even stand on his own.

Teresa sorrow, head of animal care and control issues at Peta Prime, told Salon that this was part of a larger issue.

“We get new [reports] every day about the abandonment of animals, especially intentionally, and often after they have been diverted from animal shelters, ”explained Chagrin. “This denial of animal shelters started long before COVID-19 and many shelters are simply using the pandemic as an excuse to further restrict their consumption in order to increase ‘live broadcast rates.’

His observation was echoed by Daphna Nachminovich, senior vice president of the Cruelty Investigations Department at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

“On our side, where we do field work and in shelters in Virginia and North Carolina, we see a higher demand for free services, that is, food aid, end of life. life, sterilization assistance, etc. Nachminovich said. Salon by email. “For a few weeks earlier this year, we regularly heard from citizens who had been turned away from our municipal shelter here in Norfolk, Va., Because that shelter was ‘closed’ – and some of those citizens had animals that had a urgently in need of help, including euthanasia. ” Nachminovich said she has seen more incidences of shelters limiting services. This “makes the return of animals more difficult (limited hours, fees, obligatory appointments, total refusal to accept cats), which ultimately means that the animals are left to themselves in the street and others are given, “said Nachminovich. “Many shelters have essentially stopped sheltering – a very real concern.”

Nachminovich also denounced the “hideous consequence” of stopping sterilization / sterilization services by many clinics and shelters who decided they were not “essential”. “PETA operates three mobile sterilization / veterinary sterilization clinics and we have never stopped functioning,” she noted. “We have just adapted and followed new safety procedures.”

So what can the people who love our animal friends do to protect them in these difficult times?

“It’s really important before you even take on this responsibility to ask yourself, ‘What if I lose my job? What will happen if I have to move? What will happen ? “” Chagrin told Salon. “Make sure you have arrangements in place or don’t get an animal. “

Chagrin also advocated that “shelters should keep their doors open and always accept all animals. And not charge fees or put restrictions in place.” She argued that it was not good for animal shelters to come under pressure “to improve their release and adoption rates”, saying we should improve sterilization and sterilization practices and arguing that “shut down doors to shelters and say, “No, we’re not going to take your pet because we’re worried about our stats’ is an irresponsible and cruel response, but it’s the response we are seeing today.”

As for Mayn, she asked people too sick to care for their dogs to see “if they have a family member who can help them search for rescues. They can help dogs, especially if they are old “. She urged people to remember that “shelters have been inundated with dogs and it is more difficult to get them adopted, especially an elderly person, from a shelter than to get them adopted from a rescue” . She also said that “for people who have a place to live and can actually keep their dogs, there are resources from nonprofits, for example, that help individuals cover their dogs’ medical bills. So if their vet bills are too expensive and that sort of thing, there are resources for that. “

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