From Mandy Behbehani of the San Francisco Examiner:

In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, the adoption team at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation in Walnut Creek placed photos of nine puppies on its website. About a thousand emails poured in from people wanting the animals.

“It was crazy,” said the shelter’s executive director, Elena Bicker. “Now, it’s crazy the other way.”

With a dramatic increase in the pet population, private and public animal welfare organizations around the nation and Bay Area are in crisis, packed to capacity with animals they are struggling to find space or homes for.

Craig Lee/The Examiner

“We’ve been busy, busy, busy,” said Deb Campbell, spokeswoman for San Francisco Animal Care and Control, a city shelter that, like many others, has seen an influx of large dogs that nobody wants.

The reasons are numerous. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, more than 23 million American households — nearly 1 in 5 nationwide — adopted a pet during the pandemic. Because spay/neuter clinics and veterinarians were shut down, owners could not get their new pets fixed in 2020 and 2021, which, a new study from University of Florida researchers found, is equivalent to 2.7 million animals not spayed or neutered….

People Rescuing Animals … Animals Rescuing People®

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