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Animal rescue groups struggle with uptick of pet surrenders due to COVID-19

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Posted at 5:34 AM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 14:06:24-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Some shelters reported seeing an increase in adoptions and foster applications but smaller rescue groups are still struggling with an uptick in pets being surrendered.

The doors of Just Like Home Doggie Hotel and Grooming are locked due to COVID-19.

Animals are still welcome in, but owner Tracey Bruggeman says the past month has been tough. "I would definitely say as of right now due to the COVID-19 lack of business due to people, you know, not leaving their homes. And you know, it's definitely been hard getting financial assistance."

Just Like Home boards pets rescued by several organizations in the valley, including Southern Nevada Animal Rescue League or SNARL.

SNARL doesn't have its own facility and relies on fosters and boarding to house the animals.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, they've seen an uptick in pet surrenders and strays. SNARL Director Kaylea Huskey says, "it's been pretty crazy. We actually had to create a stray application for our website to help us handle all of the stray inquiries that we were getting."

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Tracey says the pandemic is putting a lot of pressure people -- some having to choose between feeding their families or their pets.

"Now a lot of people are out of work a lot of people for the longest time or waiting for their unemployment checks and another big thing is a lot of people don't know where to turn so they're trying to go to shelters and or their vets and they're saying I can't keep my dog and then they're going as far as extreme as euthanizing the dogs."

SNARL has around 200 rescue animals and about 30 of those are dogs with Just Like Home boarding.

But with both the business and the rescue struggling, they're asking people who are able to help to step up.

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"The big one right now is adopt, you know, if you have to you know, by all means, please help us sponsor a dog, at least if you can't take a dog in be a sponsor fostering a dog."

You can also help by donating. SNARL is accepting donations as well as food and other pet supplies.