Image 01 Image 03

People Returning Adopted Dogs at Rapid Pace as Pandemic Winds Down

People Returning Adopted Dogs at Rapid Pace as Pandemic Winds Down

I only covered a few states because my heart could only take so much. People suck.

People adopted animals like crazy during the lockdowns, but quite apparently did not actually think things through when they took home the pets. You know, like helping your dog with separation anxiety when you eventually go back to work or school.

Shelters and animal rescues across the country have seen a spike in returned pets.

Who the fudge returns any pet? The only reason I can think of is the pet got aggressive. But even then something has to trigger it!


KDVR in Colorado reported animal rescues in the state have seen people returning dogs they adopted during the pandemic because normal life is coming back.

My heart is killing me:

“We made a lot of changes to our adoption process to prevent people from returning dogs once pandemic ended. But for the past four months, we have had an extreme number of returns. We have doubled more than what we normally do during a year. I think what is happening, the world is opening up, people are going back to work, they’re traveling. People aren’t just lonely anymore, so the dogs are not necessarily fitting into their lifestyles, and they are returning them instead of trying to make adjustments to keep their dog now that the world is opening up,” Aron Jones, executive director of Moms and Mutts Colorado Rescue said.

Moms and Mutts Colorado Rescue said people have had a change of schedule and a change of heart. “It’s awful. We watch these dogs come in the front door. Their people fill out all the paperwork and drop them off and the dog sits at the door and cries,” Jones said.

Moms and Mutts Colorado Rescue have more than 200 dogs. They need donations:

“We are going through 25-30 bags of dog food a week because we have so many returns, the adult dogs are eating a full bag of food a week. Then all of our puppies are bigger. We really just need to be able to sustain these dogs until they get adopted, really become a financial burden for us. Without any adoption fees, we are dying,” Jones said.

They want to encourage people to adopt and know there are options like training and doggie daycare for people to consider before returning a pet.

Here are some links for those in Colorado. Please help them out!


It’s not just Colorado. Lucky Dog Animal Rescue in Virginia has witnessed an increase in animal returns. Please help them out, too!

Houston, TX

Fort Bend Animal Services and Adoption Center saw a lot of “pet returns” in the beginning of 2021, but it has slowed down.

Pasadena Animal Shelter did not notice an increase. The shelter is at capacity with 216 animals.


This is the last state. I am finished searching “pet returns.”

The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) said a lot of residents have returned the pets they adopted during the pandemic:

Bryn Rogers, assistant director of the MSPCA’s animal care and adoption centers, said in a phone interview Monday that her group last week polled 500 recent pet adopters, 24 percent of whom said they’re concerned their pets will have separation anxiety when they’re back at work.

“It’s a valid concern people have if you’re returning to work,” Rogers said.

She said her group suggests new pet owners provide enrichment toys for their animals to enjoy in their absence, and that they ease pets into being home alone before office return dates by leaving the residence for brief periods to see how they’re acclimating, gradually increasing the solitary time leading up to the commuting shift.

Massachusetts Humane Society has not seen more pets coming back, but that does not mean it is not happening.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


I am sure these people will not remove their Tik Tok videos of their adopted pets.

    Brave Sir Robbin in reply to Oracle. | May 11, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    I wonder if the Biden’s will be dropping their dogs off now that they have no more use for them.

    dunce1239 in reply to Oracle. | May 12, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    A judge ruled barring evictions was unconstitutional and their new landlords often charge higher rent for people with pets.

Brave Sir Robbin | May 11, 2021 at 1:58 pm

Very sad. I hope these animals find a new and welcoming home.

people who adopt dogs and then return them are lower than Michael Vick

I’d love to name and shame the scumbags but then they’d just drive the dogs out of their neighborhood and dump them on the highway.

Dogs aren’t toys, When you pick one up and take it home, you’re making a commitment for the life of the dog.

This is a so heartbreaking.
All my dogs are rescue dogs.

I just adopted a ten year old, she’s as spry as a two year old, amazing and she is a sweetheart.

healthguyfsu | May 11, 2021 at 2:51 pm

I hate people. We adopted dogs and committed to them. We took the 1 week period to evaluate. One is very aggressive and has been a major challenge, but he loves us dearly and doesn’t understand. We will exhaust every possible option and probably just learn to live with it if we can’t change his behavior. We won’t even consider returning a dog after making that commitment.

    UserP in reply to healthguyfsu. | May 11, 2021 at 4:29 pm

    You are my hero. I feel the same. Two thumbs up!

    Sonnys Mom in reply to healthguyfsu. | May 13, 2021 at 3:48 pm

    A couple thoughts come to mind. Have you considered a veterinary behaviorist? One vet, Dr Nicholas Dodman, has written a few books that give examples of the kind of behavior problems these vets handle. But most important of all is a confident owner. So I also recommend viewing Cesar Milan’s videos. Not to necessarily copy his methods, but to WATCH Cesar, and his confident behavior around the dogs he works with. Many people feel unsure whether they actually have a “right” to guide and control their dogs, and shape and correct their behavior. (Short answer: yes, you do!) When that happens, the dog senses the owner’s uncertainty as a “leadership vacuum” and instinctively seeks to fill that role itself. For an easy-going dog this may not even be an issue, but you may have one with a dominant personality who is “testing” your authority and your internal resolve that you (not the dog!) are the one in charge. Thank you for not giving up, and best of luck finding the solution that works for your family!

People are overrated.

These dogs adopt people. The dogs stay loyal.

Long ago I got the best dog I ever had from The Dayton Humane Society (Beagle mix). If you go to a shelter in the Detroit area these days, you are pretty much limited to pit bulls and pit bull mixes. Perhaps some had second thoughts about adopting pit bulls, especially if they have children.

    CommoChief in reply to bw222. | May 11, 2021 at 7:23 pm

    I adopted a Pit from a shelter. Senior female. Didn’t like/trust men….until after six weeks of patience I was finally deemed worthy. She took to my wife and daughter from day one. She was never aggressive just overly submissive.

    The strange thing is that she was the first dog I came across who didn’t sense I was a dog loving softie. She was one of the sweetest dogs I ever had, she passed after a few years but certainly had a better end than a beginning.

    Never had any issues with her and she had been used as a bait dog based upon her wound scars. Pits have an unearned bad rap. If you are a conscientious owner who will take the time to train then you are likely fine getting a Pit.

    If not or your kids are hooligans….. then not so much.

SeiteiSouther | May 11, 2021 at 3:33 pm

Humans suck.

There is precedent. People for the Euthanasia of Throwaway Animals. It’s a Choice. Yes, that Choice.

daniel_ream | May 11, 2021 at 3:39 pm

The only reason I can think of is the pet got aggressive. But even then something has to trigger it!

Sentimental bollocks.

“Animal Recues” are the endpoint of a pipeline that starts in the third world, with puppy millled dogs or street strays being shipped en masse to middle-class white women who want to show how virtuous they are by saving a poor animal.

Those pipelined dogs are rife with genetic problems from poor breeding, behaviour disorders from a lifetime of street scavenging and abuse, and diseases long since eradicated from the pet population. None of those things are curable, and in most cases the most humane thing to do for the dog is to put it down painlessly.

Animals aren’t people and pets aren’t children.

We will exhaust every possible option and probably just learn to live with it if we can’t change his behavior.

I’m sure the child whose face he mauls will appreciate your compassion.

Pet separation anxiety pish! Most of these animals were pandemic pets, companions of convenience. These people had no intention of keeping the animal once CoVid had passed.

Connivin Caniff | May 11, 2021 at 4:50 pm

These people are the lowest of the low. Their lack of love and loyalty to their pet, and their inability to empathize with what this does to the pet, reflects their complete lack of good moral character. This is a great test for detecting sociopaths – and they are testing positive. I would not trust them with anything. Pets go to heaven – not these people.

I’m surprised by this. Pets aren’t cheap, and one would think that the last thing cash-strapped unemployed people would buy is a cash-eating pet.

henrybowman | May 12, 2021 at 6:18 am

When I was younger, the process of obtaining a pet from a shelter used to be referred to as “animal adoption.” Has this term been retired by the shelter industry for PC reasons?

Are any of them referring to it as “checking out a pet” now? I bet not. Where do people get this impression?

Reality is a bummer. Such cute little puppies and kitties! But, darn, that kitty litter gets heavy, as you haul it in and then back out to the garbage. At least cats can use a litter box. That darling puppy has to be walked, repeatedly, throughout the day. Get busy with your life, and guess what! Dogs do not come house broken. Or quiet. Or with adult teeth. Instead, they have to be taught to go to the bathroom outside, not to bark mindlessly when bored, and not to eat the couch while waiting for baby teeth to fall out. Yeah, they’re fun to cuddle, but turns out they require a lot of attention and a lot of effort. Who knew!!!

    henrybowman in reply to CincyJan. | May 13, 2021 at 2:17 am

    In fact, puppies can be litter trained by the breeder, but few are. As breeders, I wish we had known that 20 years ago. We litter trained our last two litters and they were practically flawless. If you only provide the correct facilities and materials, they literally train themselves.

Anyone that heartless should die of shingles.