During the lockdown portion of the pandemic, many people found themselves cooped up at home all alone with time on their hands. So, a lot of those folks decided it was the right time to add a pet to the household; adoptions from shelters increased during this time. Now, as people return to work and their normal lives, some of these pets are being returned, but there are conflicting reports as to whether that number is on the rise.

According to NJSpotlight.com, there has been a spike in pets being returned to shelters as people find that they don’t have the time to take care of an animal anymore, or that they are travelling more, or they were forced to move. At the Franklin Animal Shelter in Somerset, adoptions increased around 40% during the pandemic, but some of those animals are now being brought back. At that shelter, the number of returns is double what it was before the pandemic.

On a national level, however, animal welfare groups say that they are not seeing an alarming increase in adoption returns. According to the ASPCA, and quoted in the New York Times, they see no increase in the number of returns. It is also reported that while the number of returns is up over last year, it’s because returns were limited by the pandemic and rates are just returning to normal.

While there are anecdotal reports of large numbers of pets being returned in New York and Los Angeles, the ASPCA says, according to their research, 90% of dogs and 85% of cats adopted during the pandemic are still in their adoptive homes.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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