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Arkansas animal shelters have seen an increase in surrenders

Lots of animals were adopted at the beginning of the pandemic. Now as people have returned to working full-time, animal shelters in Arkansas are at full capacity.

SHERWOOD, Arkansas — During the pandemic, lots of animals were adopted while people worked from home. 

Now that the trend has flipped in the opposite direction, shelters have recently seen an increase in surrenders.

At first, it was linked to the return of full-time work outside the home...and now it's because of the economy.

Several Arkansas animal shelters have been facing this problem. 

Hot Springs Animal Services posted this week that they were full and were still getting several animals surrendered to their front doors.

Pulaski County Humane Society said they are currently hosting their longest-ever 'empty the shelter' event, but they have still been seeing more animals come in than are being adopted.

Little Rock Animal Village said they wouldn't be able to keep as many animals in their facility if there weren't so many fosters helping out. 

Sherwood Animal Shelter continues to try and keep up with the number of animals coming in, but they have been struggling for a while, with more than 75% of the facility full.

Brody Miller with Sherwood's Animal Services said that he believes it is partly due to the economy.

"As big as gas is and vet bills -- all of these expenses owners have when owning an animal, a lot of people can't afford that anymore," said Miller.

On top of that, Sherwood's pit bull ban prevents any residents in the area from being able to adopt that breed, which has made it even harder for the shelter to find adoptable homes.

To help alleviate the cost of adopting a pet, Sherwood currently has some sponsorships for animals to take care of the adoption fees.

"Come in. If you really like an animal and it's up for adoption fill out an application. Right now, all are sponsored by CHI St. Vincent, so you can walk out of here without paying a penny and get a new best friend," said Miller.

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