By Ryan Hill

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – “Furever” homes are on the minds of the animals at the Sacramento SPCA during its latest free adoption event.

Tamerin Romero and her daughter are more than willing to be one for a little guy they met.

“We wanted to introduce a dog, you know, that’ll get along well with our other dogs,” Romero said.

Sue Ruiz is looking to do the same.

“So this little one that wants to talk to me just told me he wants to come home with me,” Ruiz said.

That companionship is the reason many people are adopting during the pandemic. But, the pandemic is bringing about a new concern – the possibility of more animal surrenders happening as we roll with the pandemic punches. 

“I think it’s less likely that people will surrender an animal just because they’re going back to work,” said Dawn Foster, with Sacramento SPCA.

“Usually, it’s an economic issue. Their housing situation changes. That is a very legitimate concern going forward with people potentially not being able to pay rent or be able to afford veterinary cost for their pet. But with people losing jobs or not getting their unemployment that actually elevates that,” Foster added.

The Sacramento SPCA said it is seeing a 50 percent reduction in animal surrenders from mid-March until now compared to the same time frame last year.

Things like more counseling and resources are helping to keep the numbers low and help pet owners not have to go to the last resort of surrendering their animal to the shelter.

“We’ve started educating people on little short periods of time that they can start taking away from their dog or their cat to start getting them used to spending more time alone to avoid those behavior issues like separation anxiety going back to work full time,” Foster said.”

The Placer SPCA and the Front Street Shelter also said that they haven’t seen an increase of animal surrenders either at this time.

Placer SPCA’s chief executive officer said the organization has been talking to colleagues nationwide about concerns for shelters in the future, which do include impending evictions and back to work activity. The organization has heard from local vets that there has been a trend toward the acquisition of puppies in their area.

Some people at the Sacramento SPCA’s adoption event said they feel some people may not be looking at the bigger picture when adopting for that companionship during the pandemic.

“They look at the cuteness factor and they don’t think about how much they can run your life,” Ruiz said.

 “I think it’s really important to look at the long term when you’re bringing an animal or a pet into your home,” Romero said.

The Placer SPCA and the Front Street Animal Shelter said they’re also preparing for any possible financial or behavioral issues that could result in surrenders. Both said they’re using similar practices like the Sacramento SPCA

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