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Gimme Shelter: Adopted Pets Returned En Masse After the Pandemic

4:00 AM EDT on June 30, 2021

I had just come out of another hospital stay last June when I found out my ex-girlfriend had adopted a cute, friendly dog named Sean. However, over time, as Covid waned and people started going back to work, she found that keeping the dog was going to be hard for her; I’ll never forget the day she told me she was thinking of returning him.

Long story short, that’s how I became the adoptive father of Sean, my dog-son that has given me a new lease on life, guaranteeing a few more years of breathing on my part and, hopefully, many years of happiness for him.

Sadly, many people don’t have someone like me around to browbeat and chide them, so they end up sending their newly adopted dogs and cats back to the shelter, an increasingly growing problem as we come out of this worldwide sickness. I can only imagine the fear and hurt on those animal’s faces, wondering what they did that was so bad.

At first, I thought it was only the trashy people around me, but it turns out it’s many trashy people from all around the state. It’s become so much of a problem, that one Oklahoma City rescue shelter owner, Regina McCudy of Raven’s Rescue, is speaking out about it in a recent interview with Channel 5.

From KOCO.com:

“I think what happened is people adopted dogs because they were home, and then their animals got used to them being home,” said Regina McCudy with Raven’s rescue.

Once their owners went back to work, things changed.

“And now they're back to work and the animals are stressed out, maybe destructive,” McCudy said. "Maybe they're soiling in the house.”

With that, people are racing to return them.

“At alarming rates,” McCudy said.

According to the interview, some shelters are at 170% capacity because of it, and, honestly, I have to say that it’s mostly done out of my generation’s need for instant gratification and the inability to deal with the consequences. I can understand that if the pet attacks a child or an elderly person become incapacitated or dies that something has to be done, but many of these dogs and cats are being returned simply because you have to work in a fucking office now.

I’ve met homeless people with more respect for their pets, to be honest.

“The Oklahoma City Animal Shelter for the very first time that I recall has put out a plea to the OKC population to stop bringing animals to the shelter,” McCudy said.

But this generation is cruel one and, sorry to say, these returns will continue and many of the animals will be put on death row because of it—out of sight, out of mind, I guess. But, if you have it in your heart to adopt any of these dogs and cats, please do so and help clean up the bloody mess that the pandemic has left behind and will continue to for many years.

Meanwhile, I’m going to take Sean for a walk, happy to know that he’s in my life and will be until he says goodbye.

_

Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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