Dog rescue sees staggering number of pandemic adoptions returned

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SHERIDAN, Colo. (KDVR) — Puppy adoptions have skyrocketed during the pandemic, but now the exact opposite is happening at a Colorado dog shelter.

MAMCO, short for Moms and Mutts, supports pregnant and nursing dogs and their puppies. The rescue said they were experiencing an alarming rate of adoption returns.

“We’re at 163 returns right now, most of them, the majority of them were dogs that were adopted in 2020,” MAMCO executive director Aron Jones said.

Jones and his team said they were overwhelmed by the number of incoming returns.

“We make progress in finding foster homes for current returns, and then we get another five or six emails with same-day return requests,” Jones said. “It’s just a little defeatist and frustrating and money is tight, supplies are tight, adoptions are slow. It’s just been a really tough year overall.

Adoptions at MAMCO are the slowest they have been in three years, according to Jones.

“Ninety-nine percent of them come back to us because something has changed in their human life and not because they’ve done anything,” Jones said. “Travel has been important this year. They want to travel and don’t want to board their dogs. I get angry, I get angry when people make these decisions and don’t think about the impact it’s going to have on the dog.

Dumb Friends League, another animal shelter in Colorado, said it has also seen an increase in abandonments. The most common reasons given for them are pet owners moving out of state or to accommodations that don’t allow them to have pets.

On average, Dumb Friends League usually housed between 600 and 700 animals. Recently, that number has climbed to between 800 and 1,000. However, the shelter said there has been a surge in support and adoptions recently, bringing the shelter closer to its average.

You can find more information on how to help MAMCO on their website.

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