Covid-time pets end up at shelters in Latvia

Animal shelters are crowded with animals taken during the Covid-19 pandemic, representatives of shelters told Latvian Television on July 18.

Jack Russell's terrier Archie was adopted as a puppy two years ago, with no real account of his character or needs. Archie lived in an apartment and wasn't accustomed to even settling his needs outdoors. This summer, the owners handed the dog over to the shelter, saying they couldn't give the dog enough attention because of work.

Many calls were received from people who wanted to give up animals, said Linda Novicka, a member of the "Zoopolicija" Society. These animals, especially dogs, had become accustomed to the presence of the owner during the pandemic, but now that the owners are gone, are starting to wail. Neighbors complain about this, so the owners choose the easiest solution – to give the animal away, said Novicka.

Animals are not being adopted that much recently, said Zoopolicija Society, but new animals come to the shelter every day. For example, three-month-old puppies were found in Sigulda by a garbage container a week and a half ago. An eight-year-old dog was being sold along with the house, and its new owners had kept him in the woodshed for a year.

Many shelters announce their capacity is already spilling over. Head of the shelter Ķepu ķepā, Gundega Bidere, said there were often young animals left at the shelter – three or four years old, coinciding with being adopted at the time of the pandemic. People leave all sorts of animals, including purebred, she said.


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