It’s Supposed to be Forever Home, Not Forever Alone

Abandoned pets on the rise


Image courtesy of Google Photos

Gage Carlucci, Entertainment Editor

At the start of the pandemic, many people adopted a pet to keep them company during quarantine. A year later, many pets have been abandoned and shelters are struggling to handle more animals and less funding. 

 According to American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) “studies have shown that interactions with animals may help ease depression and anxiety in humans, especially under stressful conditions. Other research indicates that stress and poor wellbeing of dog owners can negatively impact their pets—stress that might lead some pet owners to abandon or relinquish their pets, further negatively impacting those pets.”

Shelters have lost crucial funding due to the financial crisis and because of COVID-19, shelters haven’t been able to host their usual in-person fundraisers. Facilities have been operating with limited access for adoptions, and most volunteer shifts are currently suspended. Many pets are abandoned due to the financial and social stress of the pandemic, as well as health issues and when their owners fall seriously ill, according to John Gonzalez of WSET News.

Animal abandonment is animal cruelty and pet owners have a responsibility to make safe and healthy decisions about the placement of a pet they can no longer care for.

We offer plenty of resources to help pet owners keep their pets, or if they have no option we accept owner surrenders all the time,” said Corey Schoonover, Fairfield Area Humane Society Executive Director.  

Fairfield Area Humane Society Executive Director, Corey Schoonover. Photo courtesy of Schoonover.

I understand people’s lives can change and they may not be able to keep their pet, but making arrangements to surrender that pet to a shelter or Humane Society is the right way to go about it.  Leaving your pet, tossing it outside, or worse is not the answer and it is a crime,” said Schoonover.

“Everyone deserves a second chance and abandoned animals are no different,” said Schoonover, “The animal didn’t ask to be put in that situation and they are generally great pets and are visibly happy to find a new and loving home.” 

With the pandemic, more people are looking for a new pet to keep them company, and could be a good opportunity to help previously abandoned animals.

People who have rescued abandoned and surrendered pets from shelters experience great rewards in return.

“There is just a whole other level of loyalty and love that comes from an animal that knows you gave them a second chance!” said Schoonover.

When a person is thinking about adopting a new pet, it is important for them to research before adopting, to make sure they’re prepared to give their new pet the best life possible.  Research various breeds and spend time at a shelter with an animal before adopting. Keep in mind that an older pet may adjust easier to a new family with children than a young puppy or kitten.  Other benefits to adopting a pet are that they may already be spayed or neutered, micro chipped, and vaccinated which would save new pet owners money.

LHS junior Nevaeh Cox. Photo courtesy of Cox

Neveah Cox, a junior at LHS, who has experience in adopting pets suggests that it is important for people to understand adoption has both positive and negative aspects.

“You are going to have many unknowns with an animal’s history and possible traumas they may have. They could have health complications that you’re unaware of when adopting, as they could have pre-existing behavioral issues from trauma, poor breeding, or a lack of training,” she said.

On the other hand, Cox said, the positives may outweigh the negatives.

“You’re potentially saving a life when adopting from a kill shelter.”

Fairfield Area Humane Society: