It's estimated that three million pets were adopted during the pandemic. The increased time spent at home was the perfect time to train a puppy or kitten and they provided welcome companionship during a period of intense isolation. But two years later, the pups are full-grown, many of us have returned to an office, and local rescue groups are having to cope with the massive influx of surrenders.
“I have received a message every single day this week from owners wanting to surrender their dog,” says Jenni Baynham, co-founder of Fur Bae Rescue, a non-profit organization that connects rescue dogs across Canada and California with fosters and forever homes in the Pacific Northwest.
The gradual return to normalcy has people realizing that their lifestyle is not conducive to properly caring for dogs. Even purebred huskies which cost thousands of dollars are being surrendered and according to Fur Bae are remaining in their care for months with few options. Even dogs without behavioural problems and excellent temperaments are proving difficult to home.
Fur Bae is appealing to the public for fosters, adopters and donations to help the dogs in their care as they cannot keep up with the demand.
“We want to be able to help these dogs but we are already using all our resources to find fosters and adopters for the dogs who are currently in our care. We are in a very challenging situation and have no choice but to turn to paying for board and train services,” says Baynham.
Fur Bae says that people looking to return their dogs aren't receiving any support from where they purchased or adopted them, forcing people to turn to rescue services for help or trying to rehome the dogs themselves on platforms like Craigslist or Facebook which can be problematic if the dog has not been spayed or neutered.
They believe fostering is a solution because it gives rescue teams time to screen behaviours and properly vet adopters and they're asking for people in the Lower Mainland to come forward if they are able to help. Apply to adopt or foster, or donate on the Fur Bae website.