Some People Are Abandoning Pets Adopted During the Pandemic as States Reopen and People Go Back to Work

A Virginia shelter said someone dropped off a rescue dog that was adopted from that very same place in May 2020.

Animal shelters across the country are reporting an uptick of dogs being abandoned, and many are pointing the finger at a shift in workers returning to the office. Such a return is leaving some pets that were adopted during the pandemic uncared for. 

Some people are even getting caught on camera leaving their dogs in the woods or empty parking lots and driving away.

“This is on a daily basis, and it doesn’t show signs of slowing down,” said Jeremy Boss, who runs an animal rescue in Dallas, Texas.

Other pet owners are simply returning their dogs to the shelter where they adopted them, including Jonah, a shepherd-mix that was dropped off at the front door at the Lucky Dog Animal Rescue in Arlington, Virginia.

“He is 2 years old, he was adopted in May of 2020,” said shelter worker Ashley Roberts. “He was returned today. It definitely impacts the animals negatively when they are returned.”

Tamara and Brian Loud, who also adopted a pup during the pandemic, said they’re shocked by how common the phenomenon has been. “She’s part of our life now,” Tamara said of her dog. “We couldn’t possibly imagine not having her.”  

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