Local animal rescue group warns of increase in surrenders as holidays approach

Panama City

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)– With the holidays around the corner, many families are thinking about giving a furry friend as a gift.

And while Lucky Puppy Rescue said they are happy to find homes for their 200 animals in need of homes, they want to ensure the home is a forever one.

Shere Hallmark, a volunteer at Lucky Puppy Rescue said that while this time of year they see many animals adopted, they see just as many returned.

“They call it the Christmas puppy, this time of year the concept of buying Christmas puppies for loved ones seems to be a very popular idea,” Hallmark said.

Hallmark said not all who adopt understand the true responsibility of owning a pet.

“It’s a lifelong commitment and process that needs to be thought out, it’s a 15-year obligation really,” Hallmark said.

Hallmark said the reasons vary as to why someone makes the choice to surrender the pet they had recently adopted.

“Vetting bills, the care, the food, and everything, it seems to build up and we tend to see them a lot more pets these next few months because of the loss of interest in them,” Hallmark said.

Lucky Puppy Rescue said since the pandemic started, they have also seen an uptick in surrenders.

“There’s a lot of litter turnovers right now, probably due to the fact that people have lost their jobs,” Hallmark said.

Hallmark said another factor for the increase in newborn kittens and puppy litters is that many choose to not spay and neuter their pets.

“Back in the older days we would have 3 to 4 dogs per litter and now we are seeing 10 to 15 per litter,” Hallmark said. People think it’s not going to happen to their dog, but it only takes one time and it can happen if a dog escapes a fenced yard or another dog enters your yard.”

Hallmark said the process of spaying and neutering your pet can be costly, but there are many local resources.

“Operation Spay Bay is one of our local venues we like to use, and for instance, in December they do free spay for all of the large breed dogs,” Hallmark said.

To learn on how to adopt a pet from Lucky Puppy Rescue, click here.

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