Border collie dog in studio carrying a piece of paper with "Love me" lettering.
(Photo by Zuzanna Paluch/Thinkstock.)

Are More Pets Going To Shelters As People Return To Work?

INDIANAPOLIS — At the beginning of the pandemic animal rescues and shelters saw a spike in adoptions and foster applications, with more people going back to work are shelters worried they’ll see an increase in animals being surrendered?

Roxie Randall, manager of community outreach at Indianapolis Animal Care Services, says they have not seen an increase in surrenders, and that they try to work with pet owners so an animal doesn’t have to be surrendered.

“We’re able to offer more resources to people through Indy Cares, which is associated with the shelter,” said Randall. “They’re able to talk with those owners that are needing to surrender their animals, and help them look at other options, and ways to keep the animals in the home.

She said that being in your home is much less stressful on your pet than being in the shelter.

“You may think, ‘well they’re stuck in a cage all day at home,’ they’re also, you know, stuck in a kennel at the shelter until a new home comes along,” she said. “Your pet is much happier seeing you than they are seeing strangers coming to care for them every day.”

If you’re worried about keeping your pet at home when you have to go back to work, Randall offered a few tricks you can try.

“I use KONGs that are filled with peanut butter that I’ve put in the freezer, so it’s a good mental way to, kind of, distract my dogs when I’m not home.”

She said when she is home she makes sure to spend as much time with them as she can, whether that’s going outside or snuggling on the couch.

She said another option would be hiring someone to take your dog for a walk during the day or having a family member come to check on them.

If you’ve recently gotten a pet from the shelter and are worried about them, she said they might just need to get used to their surroundings.

“After three days the animal is starting to decompress from being in the shelter, after three weeks they’re starting to get the idea of how to live in a house, especially if they’ve never lived in one before, and by three months they are completely familiar with your schedule.”

If you’re still looking for a pet to keep you company during the pandemic, Randall said IACS began a 10-day adoption promotion on Thursday that will end September 26.

The promotion will end with a “pup-kin” event that will showcase the available dogs and cats at the shelter.

Adoptions are free and are available by appointment only, except on Wednesdays when they have “Walk-Up hours.

You can find the animals available for adoption on PetFinder, and IACS Facebook page.

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