Branford Animal Shelter Seeing Uptick in Pet Surrenders

Workers at the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter in Branford say they expect to double or triple their intake of animals this fiscal year, in part because people are giving up pets they got during the pandemic.

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With a green bandage on her front leg, Elsa the cat is on her fourth surgery. She was found with a cookie cutter around her neck and arm that her skin grew into. Another cat was found abandoned with broken bones and needed its leg amputated. A rabbit has a neurological issue after the animal shelter says the owner never took care of its ear infection and then gave it up.

Pets fill every room at the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter in Branford. Each animal has a tough story but a sweet heart. It’s expected the shelter will double or triple its intake of animals this fiscal year.

“We've definitely had an uptick in emails, phone calls, messages on our social media platforms of people reaching out saying they can no longer care for their animals or they went back to work and they just don't have the time for them now,” said Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter Director Laura Burban. “People are definitely looking to get rid of those little creatures they purchased or adopted earlier in the Covid season.”

Burban says they’re also finding many pets abandoned outside, and they’re not just coming in from their community but surrounding communities.

Four cats were found in a box in a driveway, and with the temperature dropping, that can be life-threatening for animals.

“Leaving them in a box or leaving them in a carrier in the woods is just so inhumane. It’s dangerous, and it’s illegal. Animal abandonment is a crime, and you should not do that,” said Burban.

Burban says they’re also seeing an uptick in dog abandonment with many of the pets elderly and in need of a lot of medical care.

With their shelter full, Burban says there are resources on their website that point to lower-cost medical care for those with financial concerns. She says your vet or boarding facility may also know of someone looking to adopt.

“You should definitely start planning months in advance if you know you have to give up your animals because most shelters like ours are full right now,” said Burban.

While it may be tempting to give the gift of a pet this holiday season, Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter says it won’t adopt pets out as presents. They say pets are a serious, long-term commitment, and when animals leave there, they shouldn’t come back.

“Just realize that when you get something that’s tiny and is a baby, it’s going to grow up. And then you’re going to have a responsibility for the next 18 years,” said Burban.

Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter is holding an event to raise money for the medical care of all their animals on December 6 at Home restaurant from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. If you can’t make it, you can also donate to the shelter online.

For more information, click here.

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