BOYD CO., KY (WOWK) – Shelters across the country are seeing an increase in pet drop-offs and lost strays.

Some shelter workers say people appear to no longer need their “emotional support animal” they acquired during the early months of the pandemic.

“Right now, it’s more animals being dropped off. You know, strays – or what we think are strays. We’re seeing a lot of having more calls than usual this time of year,” says Steve Minton, the Supervisor for the Boyd County Animal Shelter.

Minton says the increase has been happening all year long and they’re now reaching the point of an overflow.

He says employees with the Boyd County Animal Shelter are now on call all hours of the day to be able to tend to the influx of animals.

“Most of the time, by Christmas we’re usually down to the bare minimum. I think last year we had like five or six dogs left to take care of and now we have like 20 plus,”

Steve Minton, Boyd County Animal Shelter Supervisor

With the jump in numbers, the shelter says they’re in need of cleaning supplies and food for animals. They also will “always accept” newspapers, blankets, and monetary donations – which “will go back to the animals and take some of the pressure off the shelter.”