Returns of adopted pets in Minnesota increasing post-pandemic

Cooper and Finnin are ready for action, and ready for their forever homes, but the risk of them being returned is growing as fast as they are.  

At Secondhand Hounds, between January and April, of this year, surrenders have jumped 35% compared to the same time last year.

"Lots of people got animals while they were in quarantine and as they were returning to everyday life it was difficult for the dogs to transition, difficult for the people to transition, and so we saw a large increase in the number of requests for surrenders," Maggie Schmitz of Secondhand Hounds told FOX 9.

But secondhand hounds wanted a better understanding of why this was happening, so they partnered up with data science students from the University of St. Thomas, who noted the current system was rather inefficient. 

They came up with nine categories and an automated system to take people out of the process, so now the reason for surrender is properly measured. 

Secondhand Hounds is learning in addition to behavior there’s a component they didn’t expect. 

"We knew that people were facing financial insecurities with losing their jobs through the pandemic, but obviously we couldn’t predict the inflation with gas prices and everything that’s happening now so that’s been a big pivot for us," Schmitz said.

Schmitz says now they will see if they can offer resources to change the need to surrender – from food shelves, vet services, training, grooming – or any other way they can help.