Pandemic pets being returned to shelters as life returns to ‘normal’

Animals and Wildlife

Conn. (WTNH) — At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, adoption rates soared as many people found comfort in bringing home a new furry family member. As people head back to work and life starts returning to normal, animals are being returned to shelters and rescues across the state.

“Once we were able to get out of the house and resume a normal life, we noticed – along with other shelters – animals were starting to be returned,” explained Tori Cateni, co-founder of Pack Leaders Rescue of Connecticut in East Hartford.

Cateni said they encouraged everyone adopting pandemic pets to think about life with their furry friends long-term.

“We put it [in] our packets with everybody, we spoke with everybody and made sure they understood life is going to resume back to normal,” explained Cateni. “I don’t think anyone thought it would be 14 months, but we knew it would resume so [we encouraged adoptive families] to set up boundaries, and schedule, and training, and house training.”

If you’re finding the transition back has been tough on you and your pet, Cateni says “don’t give up.”

“It’s just a transition period. Things are going to change.”

There are things you can do to make this time easier and better for everyone. “Ask friends for help, there are dog sitters, there are a lot of new businesses that started because of the pandemic, so just reach out!”

You should contact the shelter or rescue from which you got your pet, as well. They can connect you with services or a trainer. 

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