Kentucky Humane Society discusses pandemic impact on pets, adoption rates | NewsKentucky Humane Society discusses pandemic impact on pets, adoption rates | News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — While there is an increase in people wanting to adopt pets during the pandemic, the Kentucky Humane Society said there are still concerns about pets being surrendered as people face hardships such as eviction and unemployment.

The pandemic seems like an ideal time for people to adopt pets because people are spending more time at home. Andrea Blair with the Kentucky Humane Society said due to backups at veterinary clinics for spaying and neutering, more cats are being born, which has led to more kitten adoptions. At the same time, less dogs are being surrendered to shelters because families are able to spend more time with them during the pandemic.

“We do encourage people if you are looking to adopt a dog, be a little patient. We will do our best to find a great companion for you,” Blair said. “If you’re looking to adopt a cat, we’ve got lots to choose from.”

Some trainers, however, worry that pets may experience separation anxiety when people are able to return to work or school. Separation anxiety can sometimes lead to destructive behavior and, in some cases, families will surrender pets because of this. Blair said the best way to help prevent destructive behavior in pets is to teach them resiliency. 

“That means making the effort everyday to leave your dog at home because you want to teach them that leaving is not a bad thing and that you’re coming back and just making sure that they are comfortable with that process,” Blair said.

Blair also recommends crate training dogs, or having a special room for them to relax when possible. Taking dogs for walks or playing with pets before leaving also helps use extra energy. Once pets have played, owners should be able to get them in a calm enough place to leave the house for awhile. 

“Don’t make a big deal when you return. Just quietly let your dog out and then reward them when they are calm,” Blair said. 

Blair says if you do see your pet showing signs of destructive behavior or separation anxiety, to contact a trainer so it can be addressed right away. 

Blair says the Kentucky Humane Society is concerned over pets being surrendered as many people deal with unemployment issues and possible eviction. She encourages pet parents to make a plan in the event of hardships.

The Kentucky Humane Society offers a free help line for pet owners in need of advice or resource information. It is available seven days a week at 502-509-4738. More information can also be found on the organizations website

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