Some pets are being returned to shelters and rescues as their owners return to the office

Planned Pethood has had several dogs that were adopted during the pandemic returned.
Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 5:13 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Shelters and rescue groups saw a record number of adoptions during the pandemic, but as COVID-19 restrictions are easing and people head back to the office, organizations around the country are also seeing some people return the animals they adopted.

Planned Pethood is a local rescue that finds homes for hundreds of dogs and cats every year. LeeAnn Harden is the Dog Intake Coordinator for the volunteer rescue group. She says the organization saw a spike in adoptions the last year. In the vast majority of cases, the animals have found their forever home, however, several dogs have been returned because their owners are returning to a regular work schedule.

Harden says it’s important to remember animals are a lifelong commitment, and there are simple things you can do to make your transition back to the workplace easier on you and your pet.

“You can get someone to come in during the day, and let them out or take them for a walk. It can be a family member, neighbor, friend or professional,” says Harden. “There are also lots of doggy day cares. Trainers can certainly help with behavioral issues. We have a lot of great trainers in the area. Many dogs have gotten used to their owners being home 24/7. That means when you do go back to the office, they may have some separation anxiety. There are ways to work with that as opposed to just returning them. Your pets are family members. You don’t just dump them when it becomes inconvenient for you.”

Harden says Planned Pethood also has a rigorous screening process that focuses on keeping the people and their pets together forever, but there are certainly some circumstances when returning an animal is best for everyone.

“We take dogs back no matter what. Whether they have been with an owner for a couple days or for a couple years,” says Harden. “We do ask why they are being returned so that we can either work to keep the pet in the home or use the information to find the best home for the animal. We hope people will talk to us if they need help, we are always happy to help.”

Planned Pethood relies on donations and volunteers to operate. There are many ways you can help the organization. Donations of money, food, and supplies are always needed along with foster volunteers.

NOTE: The dog pictured above was not returned. His name is Scottie, and he was our model today. He’s looking for his forever home, though, so if you are interested be sure to fill out an application.

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