Adopting an animal in the course of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic was very fashionable as keep at residence orders left folks feeling remoted.
More than 23 million American households acquired a pet for the reason that starting of the COVID-19 pandemic, in accordance to information from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
As lockdowns lifted and extra folks returned to work or resumed their social actions, some questioned what would occur to all the “pandemic puppies” or “pandemic pets” that have been adopted.
VERIFY viewers member Ama M. requested concerning the variety of canine returned.
She requested: “In the pandemic … everybody seems to have gotten a puppy. But I heard, right now, is the time when most people are trying to put their dogs up for adoption. Is that true?”
Has there been a nationwide spike in animals being surrendered to shelters in 2021?
No, there has not been a nationwide spike in animals surrendered to shelters in 2021.
WHAT WE FOUND
VERIFY interviewed a number of nationwide organizations that monitor shelter adoptions and located there has not been a big enhance in homeowners surrendering canine or different animals to shelters this yr, even after a rise in adoptions throughout 2020.
According to a survey from the American Pet Products Association, 70% of households personal some kind of pet, up from 67% reported from 2019 to 2020. That equates to roughly 90.5 million households throughout the nation with pets.
The ASPCA surveyed 5,020 Americans aged 18 and over and located 90% of households who acquired a canine or cat in the course of the pandemic nonetheless have the canine, and 85% nonetheless have their cat.
Stephanie Filer, the manager director for Shelter Animals Count (SAC), informed VERIFY there has not been a big enhance in pets returned to shelters this yr, in contrast to years previous.
SAC is a company that works with shelters throughout the nation to monitor animals coming to and from shelters. The group revealed its findings in a report that tracked information from 300 shelters, between January and June 2019, 2020 and 2021. The information tracks each canine and cats.
“Despite a number of alarmist headlines, pet owners and adopters do not appear to be returning or surrendering animals en masse. 2021 saw only a 0.56% (less than 1%) increase in intake over 2020,” the report stated. “From 2019 to 2021, we see nearly a 25% drop in intakes. ‘Owner surrenders’ — pets given up by their owners to animal shelters—are down 23% in 2021, from 2019.”
“While lower intake means fewer animals available to be adopted, the data shows a greater percentage of the animals who are in shelters are getting adopted. In 2019, 53% of shelter pets were adopted, and in 2021 that has increased to almost 58%,” the report stated. In 2020, the adoption fee was additionally at 58%.
Those “alarmist headlines” might have began as a result of one group noticed a lot of animals returned, however that’s not the case nationally, Filer stated.
“That’s not the case across the board, which is really to be celebrated, especially because these headlines can really make individuals look like the villains. And that’s not the relationship animal shelters are interested in having with our communities. We want to be there to help keep pets in homes, we want to be there to support pet owners,” Filer stated.
“And when we have these adversarial headlines, it looks like shelters are accusing pet owners of doing something. And in this case, accusing them of doing something they’re not. So that’s why we really want to follow the data and what our organization really looks at — data-driven statistics versus anecdotal evidence,” she added.
Ilene Schreibman, communications supervisor for North Shore Animal League America, additionally informed VERIFY in an e-mail the group has not seen an uptick in returns.
“While there have been stories of this happening elsewhere, fortunately, North Shore Animal League America has not experienced an increase in animal surrenders as post-lockdown protocols have been lifted and life begins to return to ‘normal,’” she stated.
North Shore Animal League is the biggest no-kill animal rescue and adoption group in the world.
“Like many animal rescue organizations, North Shore Animal League America experienced an increase in people interested in fostering and/or adopting animals during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially last year as more and more people were in lockdown and began working from home,” Schreibman stated. “Our team discovered a silver lining, witnessing older dogs and cats who may have previously been overlooked being adopted. Once restrictions were lifted and rescues were able to begin, we continued to find loving, responsible homes for as many animals as we could place.”
More from VERIFY: Yes, cattle are the highest supply of methane emissions in the US
Want one thing VERIFIED?