EKY shelter worker says more animals are surrendered after holidays

Published: Nov. 21, 2021 at 5:49 PM EST
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Many people decide to buy animals as gifts each holiday season and, more often than not, these animals are surrendered to shelters just weeks after they are brought home.

According to the ASPCA, 6.3 million animals enter animal shelters each year.

“There is definitely a rise in intake after any holiday, especially Christmas, Valentines Day, and Easter,” said Minnie Owsley, staff member at the Kentucky River Regional Animal Shelter in Hazard. “A couple weeks later, after Christmas is over and the new has worn off the puppy, and the puppy is using the bathroom everywhere, and whining and stuff like that, then you know, we end up with those.”

Owsley adds that she and the other staff members see countless animals being surrendered after the holidays. Not only are the animals that were given as gifts surrendered, but many of the older animals in those same households.

“People decide to get a puppy or cat for Christmas and then they’ll surrender their current resident pets to make room for the Christmas puppy or say the current resident pet doesn’t get along with the animal, they get rid of the one they’ve had the longest and we see that just as much as we see the new one getting brought in.”

Owsley said those seeking to give a pet as a gift this holiday season must do their research. It’s important to ensure if you’re buying a pet for your family, that everyone in the family is on board with the responsibility of caring for it. Owsley adds that if you’d like to get an animal for your child but you’re not fully committed to caring for it, consider buying them a stuffed animal.

“If your kids like animals and maybe you’re not in a position to adopt right now, come let them walk a dog, play with a puppy, feed out treats, there’s a lot that can be done.”

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