Surge in Pet Surrenders Post-COVID

During the height of the pandemic animal rescues were inundated with people looking to help animals in need. We couldn’t keep up with the demand of people looking to adopt or foster an animal. We were and still are so grateful for the help, but we knew that it wouldn’t last forever. That bubble burst in March 2022 and things are getting dire. With people heading back to the office, making travel plans, inflation, the invasion in Ukraine, and just life going back to normal, we, and many others, are overrun with animals as pet surrenders surge and adoptions slow.

Adopters and foster homes are hard to find and with increased costs and donations drying up the most at risk are the homeless animals that count on us to be there.

The calls for people looking to surrender dogs has increased over 200% from what it was this time last year and 250% from 2020. Some families are desperate and said they have called multiple agencies with no luck in placing their pet they need to rehome. Most of the calls are people who are unable to care for their pet’s medical costs or behaviour challenges of under socialized COVID puppies. These calls do not include the strays that we prioritize from our partner communities.

And now kitten season is upon us and we are receiving countless calls of pregnant cats or moms with kittens. We have two shelters in Alberta full of dogs and cats desperately looking for an adopter or foster home to come forward so that we can accept more animals.

We know times are tough for a lot of people, that vacation you have been waiting for is here, perhaps you are back at the office, it costs more to fill your vehicle, you’re worried about inflation too. We just wanted to let you know we are still here, doing really great work saving animals and we can’t do it without the support of the community. If you can please consider a donation or sign up as a monthly donor to help save lives today, tomorrow and for years to come. Please consider fostering a pet, volunteer at our shelters in Calgary and Edmonton and most of all if you are looking for a pet please consider adopting one in need.

Deanna Thompson

Deanna Thompson

Executive Director

Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS)

May 10, 2022