Overpopulation of Pets Resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic

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(ABC 6 News) – Cat and dog liters normally peak about this time of year in terms of activity, but the past few years with the pandemic have made things more complicated.

With lockdowns, quarantines, and social isolation, the pandemic saw a surge of people going out to buy pets.

Michele Quandt, the executive director and founder of Camp Companion, noticed how many people were adopting from animal shelters. “About that time when everyone was staying home, [they] wanted a companion.”

As COVID-19 cases declined and people went back to the office, shelters saw an influx in pets being brought in.

Shelters also say COVID-19 shutdown locations that spayed and neutered pets, meaning more dogs and cats having babies.

Quandt notices this with cats especially.

“They’re having 2 and 3 liters of kittens during the summer. That is generally anywhere from 6 to 24 kittens born to one female cat. That’s a lot.”

COVID isn’t the only culprit – inflation creating rising costs for daily living means some people have to make a tough choice and give up their pet because they don’t have the money to care for it anymore.

Camp Companion fosters pets to homes in and around Rochester. Currently, it has 50 dogs and more than 300 cats that need to be adopted.

“We need our community to step up and do some things to help the process.”

Owning a pet is a big responsibility. Make sure you’re ready to own a pet and can own it its whole lifetime. As the late Bob Barker always said, make sure to spay or neuter your pets to help limit the population and limit the spread of diseases.