Pet shelters offer tips for new pet owners as they head back to work

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)— Animal shelters saw an influx of pet adoptions at the beginning of the pandemic, but now that people are returning back to work, we wanted to find out if shelters are seeing those pets get returned.

The Humane Society of Houston County says surrendering your pet should be the last resort.

Dee Allison, president of the Humane Society of Houston County, says they haven’t seen any pandemic adoption returns. She attributes that to their screening process.

“We want you to think about what you’re doing because they’re not little disposable toys, they’re lifetime commitments,” Allison said.

Tracey Belew, shelter manager for Macon-Bibb County Animal Services, says they haven’t seen any pandemic adoption returns either. She says they made sure to stress the commitment of a pet to all potential adopters.

“Eventually you’re going to go back to work, life’s going to go back to normal, and you’re still going to have this animal,” Belew said. “So are you prepared for a lifelong commitment? And everybody was.”

According to Allison, getting your pet on a schedule before you head back to work is key. She says you should do get them in a routine one or two weeks before you go back so your pet can adjust.

“If you’ve got to crate them a little bit more, let them get used to that,” Allison said. “If you can come home at lunch time to let them out and get a break, or if you can afford it, some people can afford doggy daycare or have pet sitters that come by and let them out to go potty.”

Belew says they’ve had several owner surrenders due to situations like job loss. She says if you’re struggling to care for your pet, resources are available.

“Even though you may not be able to afford vetting, or to feed them, you know you can call us,” Belew said. “We have community assistance programs, there’s rescue groups around that can help. So if you’re in a hard spot and you feel like surrendering your animal is your only option, it’s not.”

If you need assistance

  • Call Macon-Bibb County Animal Services at 478-621-6774
Categories: Bibb County, COVID-19, Featured, Houston County, Local News, Pets & Animals, WMGT

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