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Moose Jaw Humane Society experiencing influx in pet surrenders post-pandemic


The Moose Jaw Humane Society (MJHS) has experienced an increase in pet owners surrendering their pets as people returned to work post-pandemic.

MJHS found 176 dogs a home in 2020, but now, adoptions are on the decline.

“When the pandemic hit, it seemed everyone wanted a companion,” said director Dayna Haukass. “We had more applications come in every time we posted than we had dogs in the house.”

Even more worrisome for the shelter, is the number of pets that have been surrendered to them.

Tundra, a five-month-old pyrenees/lab cross, is one of those pets. The heeler-breed is fit for wide-open spaces. He used to live on a farm, until he was given to a young woman who fell in love with him.

Tundra, a 5-month old Pyrenees/Lab cross, was surrendered to the Moose Jaw Humane Society by his former owners.

“She felt sorry for Tundra,” explained Haukass. “But she didn’t ask her grandma, who she was living with, if it was okay that she could have him.”

Haukass said the grandmother felt her granddaughter could not give Tundra the time and attention he deserved. So, they surrendered him to the humane society.

Tundra is not the only pup that has been surrendered to the shelter. In fact, the MJHS has a waiting list to take in dogs being surrendered by their owners. They said the list was up to seven dogs two weeks ago. Although the list was down to two Thursday, they don’t have the kennel space to take them in.

Haukass attributed two potential causes for the increase in surrenders.

“People are not at home as much,” she said. “They were working from home, now their back working in the office. They feel they don’t have time for the dog.”

The other potential cause was a lack of research into the breed of dog owners would adopt.

“They ended up getting a higher energy dog that doesn’t really fit with their family’s energy level,” said Haukass. “We’re seeing a lot of that.”

This was the case for border collie Molly. Border collies are herding dogs and love to play outside. But, she was in a living situation that wasn’t right for her.

Molly, a 4-month-old Border Collie, was surrendered to the MJHS because she was too energetic for her former family. (Donovan Maess/CTV News)

Haukass reminded future or potential pet adopters to assess their living situation and to research the breed of dog they may adopt to ensure their home is compatible.

“We always recommend a dog trainer,” she said. “They can come into the home, observe the dog’s behaviours and often times give you lots of tips to help that dog live comfortably in your home with you.”

The Moose Jaw Humane Society said they will never judge an owner for needing to surrender their pup and they would do everything in their power to find each pet the right forever home for them. Top Stories

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