Will the “great doggy dump” happen in Ontario?
The term was coined by the New York Post, which — along with Bloomberg Qucktale — reported some animal shelters in the U.S. and the U.K. say they’re seeing people who adopted pups at the beginning of the pandemic returning them as lockdown restrictions are eased.
“People can be very selfish,” Penny Smith-Berk, the owner of the Rescue Right animal shelter in Bedford, N.Y., told the Post.
“You can impulsively buy a pair of shoes and never wear it again, but there are consequences for a dog — it’s excruciatingly sad.”
OSPCA spokesperson Melissa Kosowan said with Ontario still in the grips of a third wave of the pandemic and an extension of the stay-at-home order from May 20 to June 2, it’s hard to know what will happen here.
“As Ontario is in a different stage of the pandemic than the United States, I think it’s too early to predict how the return to a more normal way of life will impact our pets,” Kosowan said in a statement. “What I can tell you is that we are seeing an increased interest in adopting and our adoption process is designed to help ensure that the matches that we are making are for life.”
Hannah Sotropa, a spokesperson with the Toronto Humane Society, said her organization will be ready if there is a flurry of returns when COVID restrictions are removed.
“We have the resources and the appropriate planning in place so we can accommodate if a surge does occur. But with that said, it’s hard to predict the future,” added Sotropa.
Jessica Del Guercio, the founder of Paws of Greenwich in Greewich, Conn., told the New York Post some dog owners are now overwhelmed by the commitment required to having an animal.
“People are like, ‘We’re going to buy all these puppies because we have nothing to do.’ They assume it’s easy, but they haven’t had a dog since their childhood,” said the dog training business operator.
Bloomberg Quicktake found that the same trend is likely across the pond, too.
“I think that’s going to happen as people gradually return to offices, people start thinking about taking holidays as well,” Peter Laurie, chief executive of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in London, told Bloomberg Quicktake.