SHERIDAN, Colo. (KDVR) – Puppy adoptions were through the roof during the pandemic, but now the exact opposite is happening at a Colorado dog rescue.

MAMCO, short for Moms and Mutts, fosters pregnant and nursing dogs, along with their puppies. The rescue said they are experiencing an alarming rate of adoption returns.

“We’re at 163 returns right now, most of them, the majority of them has been dogs that were adopted in 2020,” MAMCO Executive Director Aron Jones said.

Jones and her staff said they are overwhelmed with the number of returns coming in.

“We’re making progress finding fosters for the current returns, then we have another five or six emails come in with return requests the same day,” Jones said. “It’s just kind of defeating and frustrating and money’s tight, supplies are tight, adoptions are slow. It’s just been a really challenging year overall.”

Adoptions at MAMCO are the slowest they have been in three years, according to Jones.

“Ninety-nine percent of them are coming back to us because something changed in their human’s life not because anything they did,” Jones said. “Traveling has been a big one this year. They want to travel and don’t want to board their dogs. I get mad, I get mad when people are making these decisions and not thinking about how it’s going to impact the dog.”

Dumb Friends League, another Colorado animal shelter, said it has also seen an increase in surrenders. The most common reasons they are given are pet owners moving out of state or into housing that won’t allow them to have pets.

On average, Dumb Friends League typically sheltered between 600 to 700 animals. Recently, that number shot up to somewhere between 800 and 1,000. However, the shelter said there has been a recent outpouring of support and adoptions, bringing the shelter closer to its average.

You can find more information on how to help MAMCO on its website.