Research before adopting: Pet returns rising at Grand Strand, Pee Dee shelters

By Carlos Flores

This is the last week for the clear the shelters campaign which offers reduced adoption fees for pets in participating shelters while overcrowding has been a problem for humane societies across the Pee Dee and Grand Strand for months.

Directors emphasized if you are considering adopting a pet to take your time and make sure you can take care of a four-legged family member.

For example, Roscoe is a five-year-old pitbull mix and unfortunately is staying at an animal shelter for the second time.

Roscoe is one of the many animals that have been returned not long after being adopted.

“People are anxious to adopt and they want to do good and they want a friend. But I think a lot of times it pays to take your time,” said Jayne Boswell, Director of the Florence Area Humane Society.

The Florence Area Humane Society even took to Facebook late last month to share their frustration about people returning pets.

“We have something to say (& it’s a long one!) In our current “throw away” society, where we return items easily on Amazon & Ebay because we decide they are no longer wanted, please do not apply to adopt one of our animals, unless you are 100% certain you are in it for the long term.”

The post encouraged people to have patience when bringing a new pet home.

Tina Hunter with the North Myrtle Beach Humane Society said they have also seen a small increase in returns this year.

“We really try to stress to folks that animals are individuals, and you need to give them time to decompress and time to get used to your routine, and time to bond with you. Before you give up on them and bring them back to the shelter,” said Hunter.

Boswell said returns can put a strain on the shelters.

“Not only are we thrilled when an animal gets a home it does open up a kennel. Some of our animals there are two to a kennel because we’re so overcrowded right now,” said Boswell.

However, more importantly, it can affect the animal mentally.

“I think it upsets animals to be brought to an animal shelter. No matter how much we love them and take care of them, it’s just a totally different atmosphere from being in home environment,” said Boswell.

While Roscoe waits for his second chance, Hunter and Boswell hope his future home is ready to create a bond for life.

Hunter added for pet owners struggling with the transition process to contact their local humane society for resources and tips.

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