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Animal shelters see slight uptick in rehoming of pets

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 10:33 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Action 2 News first reported last year, many animal shelters saw an increase in adoptions after pandemic shutdowns left people at home and wanting a furry companion.

“When Covid hit, a lot of the shelters decided to clear out the shelters,” said Stephanie Stralka, admissions manager at the Oshkosh Humane Society.

That wasn’t the case at the Oshkosh shelter, but now staff is seeing the consequences of those who hastily got a pet during the pandemic and are now having second thoughts.

“I’d say the last couple of months we’ve seen quite a bit more surrenders. Also, we’ve been called a lot about people wanting to rehome not necessarily animals they’ve gotten from us, but animals they got early on in the pandemic,” said Stralka.

2020 was a huge year for adoptions at Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary which found homes for 700 animals, a 45 percent increase in adoptions over 2019.

In a typical year the sanctuary sees only about a 5 percent return rate.

“This year we’re seeing that just a little bit above 8 percent so far, so nothing overly alarming. Of course something we want to keep a pulse on and we want to make sure the matches we continue to make going forward are forever matches,” said Marcus Reitz, director of development for the sanctuary.

Both shelters have measures in place to ensure animals and families are matched accordingly, but if it turns out Fido or Fluffy wasn’t the right fit for your home, the Oshkosh Humane Society says the best way is to rehome your pet, is to go through a shelter.

“If you don’t want your animal surrendered at the shelter and spending time at the shelter, you can go to our website and we have a rehoming space and you fill out a form to request to be on the page,” said Stralka.

Click here to learn about rehoming or surrendering your pet through the Oshkosh Humane Society.

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