'A bit of a crisis summer for us': Foster-based animal rescue seeing uptick in surrenders
Summer is normally a busy time for animal rescues and shelters, but one foster-based organization is having a hard time keeping up with demand this year.
During the pandemic, many animal rescue groups saw an increase in adoptions, though as restrictions have eased, those numbers have slowed.
“People are now having more freedom, have the ability to go away, spend more time with their friends and loved ones,” said Jamey Blair, the operations manager at the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society.
“We’re really hoping people will really consider opening their home to an animal.”
The increase in adoptions is resulting in an increase in surrenders for the Infinite Woofs Animal Rescue.
“In Edmonton, I’m getting probably five surrender requests every two days,” said Alisha Petryshyn, the Dog Team coordinator for Infinite Woofs Animal Rescue.
“We’ve seen a huge, huge increase in the number of surrender requests that we’ve been getting in Edmonton, which is really unfortunate.”
According to Petryshyn, they have seen around 100 surrender requests in the last couple of months, as opposed to the average of 10 to 15.
“For a lot of the smaller, foster-based rescues it’s a bit of a crisis summer for us, we’re feeling a bit overwhelmed,” added Petryshyn.
The society has no capacity left to accept dogs, cats or small animals, like rabbits, due to the influx.
“Most of the surrender requests are due to pandemic-related reasons, such as going back to work, new job, unfortunately a lot of evictions,” said Petryshyn.
The increase in surrenders isn’t something being seen by other organizations like the Humane Society, who are only experiencing average summer numbers for surrenders.
“That’s something that we’re keeping an eye on as people’s lives continue to change due to COVID,” said Kylie Adams, manager of communications and marketing with the Humane Society.
As people prepare to come back to the office after working from home for so long, separation anxiety is something the Humane Society is concerned about.
“It’s something that proactively, if we can address and hopefully prevent these separation anxiety issues from being a problem in the first place, then we can prevent those more difficult decisions down the road, such as surrendering a pet,” said Adams.
She points out that dogs specifically thrive on consistency and that there are ways to prepare animals for you to be around the house less.
“Waking up to meal times, to walk times, to bed times, if you can get that on a similar schedule to what it will look like when you’re in the office… that will make that transition smoother,” said Adams.
“Start with short periods of time where you leaving them and then gradually increase that time so they can become more comfortable with you being away.”
Making the occasion of you leaving the house into a positive experience, such as with a cone stuffed with treats and peanut butter, is another recommended idea.
The Humane Society has free resources on their website and professional trainers on staff to help people deal with separation anxiety in their pets.
“Hopefully we won’t see those trends of people having to return their pets because we can take those steps and prevent those issues today,” said Adams.
The reason that shelters like the Humane Society or the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society aren’t seeing an uptick in surrenders could be due to the fact that they are shelters, not foster-based organizations, according to Petryshyn.
“When we communicate with people that we’re not available to take an animal, lots of them are very hesitant to want to take them to the Humane Society or a shelter, because there is a misconception about what would happen to the animal when they go there,” said Petryshyn.
“I think they want to see their animal placed in a home environment until an adopter can be found.”
She advises people look for alternatives to surrendering their animals, such as leaving them with friends, family or neighbours. There are also options like doggie daycare and dog walkers to help look after pets while owners aren’t at home.
“I know that’s not necessarily available to everyone, but there are some options that some people might not have looked at that might be a good option for their family, and then they can keep their pet as well,” said Petryshyn.
“Please avoid posting your animals on Kijiji or Craigslist, places like that, because you just don’t know where they’ll end up.”
She also highlights the need for foster homes, which would allow the society to take in more animals.
“Whatever you can help us with, we would really just appreciate it so much,” added Petryshyn.
Pet food banks are also available for owners who are struggling with feeding their pets.
With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Ryan Harding
Edmonton Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
The corporate entities of SNC-Lavalin Inc. and SNC-Lavalin International Inc., as well as two former senior executives of the Quebec-based firms have been charged with a series of fraud and forgery offences by the RCMP.
After the most expensive election in Canadian history resulted in little change politically, many are asking whether it was worth the $610-million price tag and where else that money could have been spent.
The boyfriend of Gabby Petito, whose body was found at a national park in Wyoming after a cross-country trip with him, was charged with unauthorized use of a debit card as searchers continued looking for him Thursday in Florida swampland.
South Korea's call to declare a formal end to the Korean War is premature as there is no guarantee it would lead to the withdrawal of the 'U.S. hostile policy' toward Pyongyang, North Korea state media KCNA reported on Friday, citing Vice Foreign Minister Ri Thae Song.
Canada saw only a slight increase in the volume of foreign nationals entering the country in the first week after the border opened to those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
A gunman attacked a grocery store in an upscale Tennessee suburb on Thursday afternoon, killing one person and wounding 12 others before he was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at the store, authorities said.
Canadian fashion model Linda Evangelista says she's been left 'permanently deformed' from a cosmetic procedure that she had approximately five years ago.
Alberta reported 1,660 new cases of COVID-19 and 17 new deaths on Thursday.
Canada added seven billionaires in 2020, increasing its total to 53, tied for 12th-most in the world with Brazil, according to a new global report.
Some Calgary businesses say while the new city vaccination bylaw doesn't change what they do, it does ease some of the pressure on front line staff.
Alberta reported 1,660 new cases of COVID-19 and 17 new deaths on Thursday.
Two Calgary women are speaking out after they were denied access into medical facilities because of their vaccination statuses.
Saskatchewan broke COVID-19 hospitalization records again on Thursday, reporting 273 patients in hospital with 58 in intensive care.
A Saskatoon judge has ruled in favor allowing a father to have his child vaccinated despite the mother being opposed to her child getting the shot.
Am RCMP officer who interrogated a man accused of murdering his estranged wife remembers a “red flag” during the interview.
'Unbelievably heartbreaking': Sask. nurse left waiting for transplant as province suspends organ donation program
Krystal Graham has been on the liver transplant waitlist for about a year. Now, she says she is concerned COVID-19 will delay her life-saving surgery even longer.
Six-year-old Nygah Eashappie is pretty subdued about his newfound fame. The Regina boy is the latest to model in advertisements for local clothing brand; 22Fresh.
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in schools, the Saskatchewan School Boards Association says it will leave vaccine requirements for teachers and staff to individual school divisions.
Health officials in Nova Scotia are reporting the province’s 95th death related to COVID-19, along with 41 new cases and 20 recoveries on Thursday, as the number of active cases in the province rises to 147.
Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting 52 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, along with 35 recoveries, as the number of active cases in the province rises to 574.
The first twenty-four hours following New Brunswick's rollout of new pandemic restrictions have been rocky for some of the businesses tasked with enforcing the new rules.
The Vancouver Canucks are banking on the capacity limits at Rogers Arena being lifted in time for the regular season home opener.
The B.C. government is considering tougher laws to discourage anti-vaccine protesters from disrupting the daily operations of schools and hospitals in the province, Premier John Horgan said Thursday.
As a number of restaurants openly defy B.C.'s proof-of-vaccination requirements, the province has confirmed enforcement is underway.
A multi-car crash on a Manitoba highway on Wednesday resulted in police arresting a driver on impaired driving and weapon charges.
A Manitoba critical care doctor and infectious diseases specialist remains cautiously optimistic when it comes to the impact of the fourth wave in Manitoba.
Winnipeg police have arrested and charged an 18-year-old man in connection with a deadly shooting at a convenience store in 2020.
BREAKING | Vancouver Island adds 71 new COVID-19 cases
The cases were among 832 new cases found in B.C. over the past 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Health.
Police have launched a hate-crime investigation after graffiti was discovered on a Catholic church in downtown Victoria.
'We've had patients die waiting for a bed': Vancouver Island doctors frustrated with the unvaccinated
An emergency room doctor in Victoria says patients who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 are causing unnecessary delays and even deaths in the health-care system.
An Ontario man who had a faulty gas metre and racked up at $1,000 bill says was shocked when the was told he would still have to pay the bill.
Someone in Ontario won more than $21 million in Wednesday’s LOTTO 6/49 draw but has yet to check their ticket.
Unvaccinated MPPs could be prevented from entering Queen’s Park when the legislature resumes in October unless they get tested for COVID-19.
After just a few hours of debate, Quebec's National Assembly voted unanimously Thursday evening to pass a new bill that would prohibit anti-vaccine protesters from demonstrating near schools, daycares, and hospitals -- an offence punishable by a fine of up to $12,000.
Quebec kids were at the heart of a heated exchange Thursday over language laws -- specifically, English-speaking kids and whether they're really leaving school with functional French.
Amid major staff shortages, Quebec will cut large cheques to health-care workers in a bid to strengthen a public network put under serious pressure by the pandemic.
Between flooded roads and flooded basements, London and surrounding regions were left drenched after a significant rain event rolled through the area.
The province has been alerted to a significant rise in COVID-19 cases detected among children in London and Middlesex County.
About 3,500 people tucked away their pandemic blues and hit the mud-soaked Delaware Speedway for Road to Rock the Park Thursday night.
A former Kitchener MP has pleaded guilty to assault charges.
Although many businesses in Waterloo Region say the vaccine certificate program has been running smoothly so far, they're prepared for that to change.
Former Nazi death-squad member Helmut Oberlander has died in the midst of his Canadian deportation hearing.