At-capacity animal rescue reports record puppy returns as pandemic wanes

ENGLEWOOD, Colorado (KDVR) – One of the busiest animal rescues in Colorado says it will temporarily stop new rescues for the first time as people return puppies they received during the pandemic.

MAMCO, short for Moms and Mutts, promotes pregnant and lactating dogs together with their puppies.

The mothers and pups are then adopted, with more than 2,800 dogs adopted last year.

But rescue executive Aron Jones said the surge in pandemic adoptions has stalled, and to make matters worse, families are now returning dogs at record rates.

“We’ve had returns before,” she said, “but we’ve never had so many returns. We get at least one return a day, and we’re now averaging about seven a week. “

Pandemic puppies are returning at an alarming rate

Jones says it’s an issue that emergency shelters and rescue organizations are grappling with across the country when people return to work after the worst of the pandemic.

A puppy pictured at the MAMCO rescue on June 4th, 2021. MAMCO said it is busy as people are returning their pandemic pups at record rates.

“Instead of seeking outside help, they’re just at the end of the rope,” she said. “When the dogs are brought back they are really confused. You’ve lived with these people since they were 8-12 weeks old, now they’re over a year old, they don’t understand why their people brought them with them, and then left without them. “

Jones said this is putting a huge strain on already taxed foster families across Colorado.

MAMCO provides food, toys, and beds for these keepers, and pays veterinary bills, and Jones said the costs add up.

“We have puppies – puppies we’ve had for months and months – and are now growing into dogs,” she said. “So I’m scared, and I’m afraid we won’t be able to afford to continue like this. And we definitely can’t pull dogs at the moment because I have no way of predicting who will come back, I have no way of predicting who will be adopted, and we’re more than fed up. “

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Jones said they desperately need more foster families as well as Kirkland Nature’s Domain puppy food, which can be purchased from Costco and Amazon.

She hopes the adoptions will pick up again and says that now they really have a dog for everyone.

“I hope it’s a strange anomaly that we’re having such great difficulty adopting these pups,” she said.

More information on how you can help MAMCO can be found here.

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