Twin Ports animal rescue stops taking in surrendered pets after recent increase

PJ’s Rescue in Duluth had to stop taking in dogs and cats after seeing a recent wave in surrenders.
Published: Nov. 10, 2023 at 12:30 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - PJ’s Rescue in Duluth had to stop taking in dogs and cats after seeing a recent wave in surrenders.

The rescue that’s been open since 2015 has seen 27 surrenders since August.

Most recently, they took in half a dozen puppies that were found in the woods.

“They were found in up in Grand Rapids area in a kennel off of a trail by someone that was hiking,” Jill Gruba, a board member with PJ’s Rescue, said.

The two pups she had in her hand, Polar and Cinder, were recently adopted and are now in good homes.

Unlike other rescues, PJ’s Rescue is foster-based, so they don’t have a facility to house pets that come through their doors.

“We’re a foster-based rescue so we don’t have the ability to just take them in and put them in a kennel, we have to have a home for them to go into,” Gruba said.

The recent wave of surrenders forced them to put out a post on October 24, saying that they couldn’t take in more pets.

🛑 Announcement: Intake is full. We are have 1-6 owner surrender requests daily and cannot assist with any more...

Posted by PJ's Rescue on Monday, October 23, 2023

“I mean, it’s frustrating. We do our best for what we can with these dogs and we only have so many foster homes available,” she said.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, approximately 6.3 million companion pets are surrendered each year. Around 3.1 million of them are dogs.

Gruba said it’s really important to be sure about the breed of dog you want to adopt.

“Some are more stubborn, some are harder to train, some need that mental and physical exercise,” she said. “So when you’re getting a dog or a puppy, you want to make sure that you’re able to provide what that specific dog needs.”

So, why all the surrenders now?

Gruba said the pandemic is probably to blame.

“Now they’re realizing they don’t have that time that they want or need to spend with the dog,” she said.

Owners who were working from home and now have to return to the office or have kids at school might have bit more off than they can chew, making it difficult to care for the pet.

While the rescue said they’re pretty full, they still are working hard to get dogs and cats into safe Northland homes.

“We just do as much as we can but we can’t always take in local surrenders,” Gruba said.

For more information about PJ’s Rescue, you can visit their website here.

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