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Local shelters see high number of pet surrenders following holidays

Posted at 11:04 PM, Dec 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-27 08:16:01-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Local shelters are seeing a high number of pet surrenders this time of year. While people have many different reasons for giving up their animals, shelters and kennels hope pet owners understand the responsibility before adopting an animal.

Lisa Bockholt is the Volunteer Rescue and Live Release Coordinator at Nueces County Animal Services.

They were able to clear out their shelter after a Home for the Holidays adoption event, but many kennels already are occupied again.

"We have a pretty high percentage of people that just abandon or drop off," Bockholt said. "We call it surrender and they'll just bring in their animals, say they don't want it anymore and it doesn't seem to faze them if the shelters are full, or if their animal is going to face euthanasia."

Studies show most people keep their new pets.

Over at the Gulf Coast Humane Society, which is a non-profit and no-kill shelter, it's the same story. Public Relations and Fundraising Events Manager Kristen Bily hopes people who find themselves with an unwanted animal will not dump them.

"We encourage anybody whose looking to surrender an animal to please go through the appropriate channel, whether it be with us or any other rescues," she said.

In many cases, giving the animal some time to adjust can make a huge difference.

"These animals have been in kennels for a certain amount of time, then they go to a new home. they're not sure if they are going to be going back because some of them have been returned before, so there is uncertainty with them," Bily said. "It takes time to adjust to a new home, to new owners to a new family."

The Gulf Coast Humane Society and many other organizations offer low-cost clinics that include vaccinations and reduced rates for spaying and neutering.

They also offer classes and resources to help animals adjust if they are having a hard time in their new home.

"Pets are a lifelong commitment," Bockholt said. "They're not disposable, and it's important that you think very seriously before you acquire one."

Taylor Knapp and her husband traveled from San Antonio with the hopes of adopting a new pet.

"We came to meet her, make sure she's a good fit, pick her up and take her home," Knapp said. "They're your kids, your family, your best friends, and they depend on you when you bring them home, to keep them, take care of them."