18 June 2022, by Victoria Séveno

After a huge surge in the number of households adopting pets during the coronavirus pandemic, Dutch pet foundations are now observing a significant spike in the number of cats, dogs and rabbits that are being put up for adoption as people across the Netherlands return to their pre-pandemic lifestyles. 

Dutch pet owners put their animals up for adoption

WIth the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing lockdowns put in place by the Dutch government forcing people across the country to spend more time at home, a number of families decided to use the opportunity to introduce an additional furry family member. Animal shelters and breeders saw a huge increase in demand for pets.

But since COVID-19 restrictions came to an end earlier this year, animal foundations are noticing that an increasing number of pets are once again becoming available for adoption. Femke Pasquino-de Harde, who runs the site verhuisdieren.nl, told RTL Nieuws that the number of animals listed on her site has increased from an average of 1.400 pre-coronavirus to 2.200 in 2022.

Post-pandemic lives not compatible with pets

Life has, for the most part, returned to normal in the Netherlands; children are back at school and adults have returned to their jobs after an extended period of working from home. Events are also back on, and with cinemas, bars and museums open again, people are generally spending a lot less time at home. This means they no longer have a life that’s compatible with having pets, or that their furry friends – who are used to having a lot of company and attention – feel lonely after being left at home alone. 

“People have underestimated what effect the arrival of pets has on their lives,” Pasquino-de Harde explains. “Half of the animals [up for adoption] are less than two years old and therefore were purchased during the pandemic.”

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