Pets adopted during the pandemic are being returned at record numbers

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Pet owners who adopted during the pandemic are reportedly beginning to ditch their animals at shelters now that COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted and workers are returning to the office.

“We’re starting to see now what we think will be a longer-term trend of some of those pandemic pets, if you want to call them that, starting to be given up,” Peter Laurie, who is chief executive of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in London, told Bloomberg Quicktake.

The number of dogs and cats returned to the shelter has doubled over the last few months — and it’s only expected to get worse.

“I think that’s going to happen as people gradually returned to offices, start thinking about taking holidays as well. I think very sadly we’re going to see [people] returning their dogs and cats because a lot of people bought puppies early in the pandemic,” he told the outlet.

“Those puppies will have grown into adult dogs now. Some of those behaviors may be becoming a little bit more challenging [and] now people may be thinking now it’s getting too difficult so sadly, I think we’re gonna see an upturn.”

The shelter said it had seen a similar trend during the 2008 recession — and job losses have also played a role again this time around.

“Quite a few people have obviously come to us and said that they can no longer keep their animals because of financial aspects,” another shelter worker, Kate Collins, told the outlet.

“So that’s been really unfortunate that they’ve had something about their pets. But on the flip side of that, we do take any animal that comes to us.”

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