NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A North Haven animal shelter is seeing an influx of people surrendering their pets.

Michelle DeRosa the manager of The Animal Haven in North Haven said their shelter is at capacity, mainly because people who got pets during the pandemic are going back to work, or are fighting inflation and can no longer afford the care.

“It’s a never-ending battle every day, and it’s extremely sad and a little depressing,” Derosa said.

In January alone, the shelter received more than 100 requests from pet owners who wanted to surrender their animals, which is more than what they see in one year.

“I haven’t seen that ever. It’s been terrible, and I mean all rescues are in the same boat. Every rescue is calling each other.   We’re trying our best but it’s tough because nobody has that room,” Derosa said.

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According to the shelter animals count, shelters are still struggling with the surge in animal intakes from the early years of the pandemic.

Intakes went up 9% in 2021, then fell seven percent in 2022, but intakes during those years were 3% percent higher than the outcomes.

The Connecticut Humane Society said their three locations received several hundred more intakes last year, but still have some room to help the need. 

Derosa said the north haven no-kill shelter has 80 cats and 20 dogs and cannot accept any more pets.

“It won’t be safe for us to take any more animals in for the sole purpose of we have to take care of the ones we have right now, and of the ones we have right now, a lot of them are in poor condition,” Derosa said. 

She said if you’re looking to own an animal, make sure you’re taking the right steps. 

“It’s not a pair of shoes that we can just return. It’s something that you need to have for a life-long commitment,” Derosa said.

To learn more about the pets at The Animal Haven, visit their website here.