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Local canine rescues see a rise in returns of pandemic pets

The return to normalcy and the lack of shelter space are causing more pets to be abandoned and some even euthanized.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The slow return to pre-pandemic life means many things, including a rise in the return of pandemic pets.

During the lockdown, many people found comfort and company through pet adoption. In fact, national data shows there was a notable rise in adoption when people started working primarily from home. 

Now, with more people returning to the office, school, and life outside pets are being surrendered to shelters and to rescues. 

Last week, over 100 dogs were rescued from out-of-state kill shelters and brought to Western New York.

Wednesday, a truck from Atlanta full of 30 dogs arrived at Buddy's Second Chance Rescue in Buffalo.

Julie Starr runs Buddy's and tells 2 On Your Side, "The one shelter we do pull from can average up to 20 dogs get euthanized a day because they take in so many dogs a day."

On Saturday, 716 Paws unloaded an additional 18 dogs via airplane. And on Sunday, Nickle City Canine Rescue collaborated with several other local rescues and saved 54 more dogs from landing in kill shelters. 

Brandon Wolf works with Nickle City and says the need is greater than the space available - in shelters. As a result, rescues are working overtime to try and find forever homes for as many pups as possible.

"In Western New York," Wolf says, "they're probably, I'm willing to bet, there are probably three to five transports, if not more a week from these. Shelters in Texas, New York shelters in Alabama. We've worked with shelters in Tennessee, and West Virginia."

Starr says, it's emotionally tolling at times, but there's nothing else she would rather do and tells 2 On Your Side's Liz Lewin, "We average about 30 dogs every ten days to 2 weeks."

Across the board, local shelters are in need of more foster families. 

"We try to do it and help as much as we can, but we need fosters," Wolf shares. "It's really cool we provide ever Anything for you if you think of anything that you would possibly need during your fostering experience, we have it for you."

Starr agrees. 

On July 24, Nickle City is expecting yet another transport of at least 15 dogs in need of fostering. And on July 30, Buddy's is expecting give or take the same.

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