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Animal shelter at capacity as people return pandemic pets

In May, AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport took in 115 animals. With just less than a week left in June, they have taken in 132.

DE SOTO, Iowa — AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport, the no-kill animal shelter in De Soto, is at capacity.

CEO Amy Heinz said the shelter has been noticing the increase for months. Recently, they've had more calls about dogs and cats being abandoned. 

"We got a call about two dogs dumped in Winterset not too long ago," Heinz said. 

However, Heinz said the increase also is due to people returning dogs they previously adopted. 

"During COVID, a lot of people adopted animals. A lot of people," Heinz said. "Now, they're going back to work, and...don't have time for these animals and we see a lot of requests to take dogs and cats."

In May, the shelter received 115 animals. So far this month, they have received 132.

To avoid having to take a pet to a shelter, Heinz recommends potential pet owners research the dog they they want and consider if it will fit your lifestyle. 

Heinz also created a Facebook page to stop animals from ending up in shelters. 

 "It's called AHeinz 57 SOS, solutions for owner surrender," Heinz said. "It's designed where people can post their pets instead of putting them in the shelter environment, post them and try and find a spot for them on that page."

Local 5 reached out to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa to see what animals levels were at their shelter. Administrative assistant Angie Fouch said they would work on getting us an answer.

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