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UP shelters deal with increase in owner surrenders

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 4:19 PM EDT
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UPPER MICHIGAN, Mich. (WLUC) - U.P. shelters have additional struggles this summer due to an influx of owners surrendering their pets.

Delta County Animal Shelter Adoption Specialist Vonnie Bruce says there are many reasons for an increase in owner surrenders.

“We’re getting a lot of one to two-year-old dogs that were purchased as puppies during the pandemic,” Bruce said. “Everyone had time for them then, but now school and people are back to working full time. It’s an issue across the country.”

Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter (UPAWS) Community Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator Ann Brownell says her shelter is no exception to the increase.

“Last year this same time span in 2021 compared to this year we have 75 more animals that have come in as owner surrenders and strays,” Brownell said. “Out of that 25 are dogs and mostly large dogs.”

Bruce says when considering giving up an animal, it’s important to understand the pressures shelters face.

“When we have so many animals, we can only spend so much time with them we are only here 8 hours a day,” Bruce said. “We are lucky we have a lot of volunteers but the more animals it takes, the longer it takes to clean, the longer it takes to let them out and the fewer interaction times they are getting. Costs as well we are feeding more animals.”

Both UPAWS and Delta Animal Shelter have food banks for pet owners who are struggling financially.

Brownell says the shelters work closely with each other to find a home for all pets.

“Just today someone showed up with a cat and kittens and we just couldn’t take them into our facility so our wonderful neighbor shelter, the Alger shelter helped us and bless them,” Brownell said.

For more information on what services UPAWS and Delta Animal shelter offer visit their websites for more resources.

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