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'Pandemic pups' are being returned to shelters as owners go back to work

(Austin Animal Center/Facebook)

Everything felt grim in the summer of 2020 as the pandemic raged on and kept many away from family and friends, but there was one glimmer of hope: dogs and cats were being adopted in record numbers.

But now as people begin to go back to work in person and resume their former lives, thousands of "pandemic pups" are being returned to shelters, where they are reaching full capacity.


Last week, the Austin Animal Center opened its doors in person for the first time since the onset of the pandemic. The reason for reopening was less than hopeful, however: the center was out of kennel space and in desperate need of adoptions.

Along with less time to be spent with a pet, reasons for surrendering pets can lie in financial and housing hardships. According to BestFriends.org, two of the top three reasons that pets are returned to shelters are due to financial or housing reasons.

Austin Pets Alive! reports it is seeing steady surrender rates, but there are fewer people willing to foster pets.

APA told KVUE that their plea to get more foster pet parents reached their nearly 150,000 followers, but only 55 people responded. Even fewer followed through.

For those who can no longer take care of their pet, the Animal Humane Society recommends trying to rehome the animal yourself before surrendering to a shelter. Making sure the animal is well-groomed, spayed or neutered can help increase adoptability, and the AHS also has a re-homing tool to help find a forever home for your pet.

If surrendering is the only option, the organization recommends looking for breed-specific nonprofit organizations to re-home your pet as well.

Popular

Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation


🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway