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Some pets who were companions in pandemic no longer wanted

July 28, 2021 GMT

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An animal shelter in Montgomery is being overwhelmed by people leaving their pets after after having them during the pandemic.

It’s not unusual for 100 dogs a day to come through the doors of the Montgomery Humane Society’s main shelter, The Montgomery Advertiser reported.

Last year at this time, adoptions soared as people sought companionship, the newspaper reported.

Now, pets being dropped off are outpacing the numbers of those being adopted. That’s especially true of larger dogs that have gone unwanted, and many are euthanized.

Many of the animals are being surrendered by people who owned them throughout the pandemic but no longer want them, officials said.

“It’s disheartening,” Montgomery Humane Society Executive Director Steven Tears said.

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“It’s the animal that got them through their tough time,” he said. “A dog that stuck by your side for 18 months… was your buddy, and now all of the sudden you have to go back to work and he or she is disposable again.”

Earlier this month, the shelter held a weekend adoption event and a donor helped offset the fees that are usually associated with adoptions. They found homes for 79 animals at that event. Most were cats, kittens and puppies. But the larger dogs were far less popular. The day after the event, 30 big dogs were euthanized.