Youngwood animal rescue says pandemic pets are being returned

Written by adsenceatef

YOUNGWOOD, Pa. (KDKA) – The rush to get a pet during the pandemic is now resulting in a lot of animals once headed to new homes now being returned, or worse, abandoned.

The pandemic pet abandonment problem can be best summed up in this phrase: the animals’ owners have a lot of love for their pets, just no time or money to take care of them.

If you are looking for a new dog or cat, Heal Animal Rescue in Youngwood is the place to be. In fact, when it comes to selection, it’s never been a better time to take a four-legged friend home.

“We have the capacity for 30 dogs and we have 30 dogs,” said Heal Animal Rescue general manager Mary Withrow. “We have a full house of cats too.”

Withrow says many of the animals they have been turned out into the street with some being one-time pandemic pets now seen as burdensome to their one-time enthusiastic new masters. Other owners just return the animals, complaining when they headed back to work, the dog started tearing the house apart.

“There were people there every day all day and the animals get used to that and you gotta go back and the dog is not used to that and there’s a lot of separation anxiety,” Withrow said.

In some cases, pet owners can’t afford to pay for pet food and vet care due to skyrocketing inflation. Withrow says there are many ways to make sure your animal is taken care of that don’t involve surrender.

“There are places that will give you free food if you need it. People should keep that in mind,” Withrow said.

There is some good news to report at least in the case of one four-legged ball of canine frenetic energy. One of the shelter’s dogs, Sweet Pea, once abused and proudly neglected, is going to be headed to a new home.

“I just recently moved and I was looking to get a dog and she looked like the dog for me,” Erin Seighman said.

“She just came to me, sat in my lap and it was love at first sight,” Seighman said.

If you think you can’t handle, feed or house your pet, Withrow says above all, don’t abandon it. Often times dogs and cats left in the wild or unknown places get hit by cars and in some cases starve.

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