One in five American households acquired a pet during the corona pandemic, but now, shelters report overcrowding as animals are being returned.
[Photos by M Kasahara and _ A Sparrow at Home/Creative Commons License]

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reported that an estimated 23 million U.S. households acquired a new pet during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dogs that were adopted between March 2020 and May 2021 are sometimes referred to as “pandemic puppies,” and they accounted for up to 53 percent of animals adopted during the lockdown.

Studies have shown that pets provided support and comfort to those who had no social contact with family members, friends, and even co-workers last spring.

“At the end of the day, when people are going back to work and surrendering their animals, you have pet overpopulation,” Michelle Ingram, Rescue Director for Zeus’ Rescue in New Orleans, said.

“Unfortunately, the consequence is that highly adoptable pets will need to be euthanized,” she added.

Even though shelters from Georgia to Arizona are reaching capacity, the ASPCA said this is not yet a national crisis, but it’s watching intakes closely.

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