The day before Thanksgiving, eight fluffy Angora rabbits appeared in cardboard boxes on the doorstep of Marin Humane’s Novato animal shelter. A few days later, San Francisco Animal Care and Control received a crowd of 20 unwanted hamsters. In Vallejo, Ratical Rodent Rescue staff suddenly became the keeper of 44 guinea pigs, all left in a box in the rescue parking lot.
Furry, wiggly pets – cute as they are – have recently become a big deal for animal shelters in the Bay Area and California. “Pocket pets,” as small animals are sometimes called, are being abandoned or dumped in shelters at rates never seen before, and this coincides with adoptions dropping to their lowest level in years, leaving shelters behind. for overcapacity animals and their perplexed and overwhelmed staff.