Pandemic puppies: Recent uptick in surrendered dogs at Rochester animal rescue group

Pets

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Many people wanted a dog when the pandemic began, but now some of those adopted dogs are being returned to rescue groups.

The Second Hand Dog Rescue, a Rochester-based organization, says this week they’ve already had 10 dogs surrendered. 

Piper, pictured below, is a 2-year-old female who was surrendered to Second Hand Dog Rescue last month. Her owner brought her to the vet to be euthanized, saying she was too high energy. 

She is just one of many dogs that has been surrendered or returned after being bought during this pandemic. But now, with things returning to somewhat normalcy, some owners are having second thoughts. 

“They think that they are not able to keep a dog anymore because they have to long work hours away from home, versus during the pandemic they were home all the time,” said Wendy Weisberg, the Founder of Second Hand Dog Rescue

The Second Hand Dog Rescue group says this past month, they’ve started getting calls nearly every day from people who want to surrender their dogs. 

However, not everyone realizes how hard that can be on their furry friend. 

“Some dogs go through a total shutdown. They don’t trust anyone, they don’t want anyone to come near them, they won’t eat for days, sometimes week, they won’t drink they won’t use the bathroom,” said B. Smith, the Owner and Operator of Rochester Dog Walkers. 

Smith owns a dog-walking business and will take owner’s dogs for a walk if they aren’t home.  She says if you need help taking care of your dog, there are many options available around the area. This includes daycares, trainers and of course, dog walkers. 

“If you feel like you’re stuck, if you feel like there isn’t help … there is. It’s a tough time and we’re all in it together, so if one door seems like it’s closed, knock on another one. There’s people out there that want to help,” Smith said. 

Weisberg also said getting dogs tired out mentally can help them relax.

“If you’re not able to physically get out and walk the dog, if you give them something to do mentally, and even like hiding treats around your house and telling them to go find them, that can help engage their mind and get them tired,” Weisberg said.

There is also a need for more foster homes for dogs. At the start of the pandemic, many people signed up for the job. But now, with people going back into work, there’s less families fostering and more dogs to be fostered.

“We need foster homes. We need people who are able to open their home to a dog in need and keep them until a new home is found,” Weisberg said.

Piper is currently looking for her next home. She is fully vetted. 

If you want to fill out an application for her, you can visit this site.

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