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Grady Newsource — When the COVID-19 pandemic began, people were given stay-at-home orders. To cope with the loneliness, many Americans adopted a pet. However, as COVID-19 restrictions were lifted and online work became restricted, some pets were returned back to shelters, leading to high intakes.

Shelters across the nation have reported return of pets purchased during the stay-at-home order mainly due to inflation increasing costs of pet ownership. This has affected the number of intakes in Athens’ largest animal shelters: Athens-Clarke County Animal Services and Athens Area Humane Society (AAHS).[…]