Recently, animal rescues have been dealing with a high volume of surrendered and abandoned animals due to an ongoing rehoming crisis.

Kyla Janes from Rescued Paws at Alpine Foundation says that there has been a lot of pressure put on shelters.

“On a daily basis, we get five or more calls or emails to surrender a pet or return a pet,” Janes said.

There are a lot of factors that have been contributing to this ongoing crisis.

"A lot of times it's a homeowner's stress, they can't afford to feed their dog, or their landlords are increasing rent, or the animals are having behavioral issues from accidental breeding."

Many issues are at play, but there are two big ones: overpopulation and COVID adoptions. 

“It's so important for pet owners to spay and neuter their animals; accidental litters only add to the problem."

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people adopted a pet companion because they had more free time when they were isolated in their homes.

Now, everyone is back to work, and many are struggling financially due to increased costs of living.

COVID isolation also caused a lot of behavioral issues in pets.

Dogs could not properly socialize with other dogs, and a lack of socialization can lead to many behavioral problems that animal shelters are now dealing with.

Janes explains how a lack of socialization can affect dogs for generations.

“COVID kept a lot of dogs from being able to socialize properly, and then they have puppies, and as a result, their stress levels and socialization skills are affected in utero because they weren't properly socialized themselves."

Currently, Rescued Paws is trying to find a bigger space to lease so they would then be able to take in more dogs, but with a lack of rental properties available, it has been difficult.

“At the moment, we have had to put a pause on all intakes because we currently have nowhere to keep them,” Janes said.

Last year, Janes took in almost 100 rescue dogs in her own personal business, Alpine Pet View and Spa, which is meant to be a short-term dog kennel and daycare.

Janes has been directing those needing to rehome their dogs to the Calgary Humane Society, as they are one of the only places in the area that have been able to accept more dogs, but even then, their capacity stays close to full, and all rescues are feeling the pressure.

“There really isn't anywhere to take dogs for rehoming at this point, and as a result, there is a lot of euthanasia happening because people don’t have any other options."

If anyone is interested in adopting a dog, Fur Fest, which is a big adoption event and meet and greet, will take place on February 10.

Fur Fest is an annual event at the Strathmore Civic Centre where people can come out and meet dogs that are available for adoption.

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