DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — There have been conflicting reports across the country in recent months about people returning pets they adopted at the height of the pandemic.

The animal specialists at SICSA say it’s too early to tell how the pandemic has impacted their numbers, but with the Clear the Shelters event coming up — it’s a great time to prepare families for the adoption process.

Jessie Sullivan, the director of adoptions and alternative services at SICSA, said summer is a busy time for the shelter. “We generally are running between 150 to 200 intake requests at any one time, but the majority of those are probably kittens that we generally see this time of year.”

They’ve also seen an uptick in returns — specifically in April and May. Those numbers went back down in June.

“We generally look at returns as not necessarily a negative. It’s an opportunity for us and the pet owner to find a better match. We may learn a little more about a pet that we didn’t know before, that allows us to find them a better home.”

Sullivan said it’s not clear if the coronavirus pandemic is the cause.

“While there’s a lot of information out there about people bringing pets back that they may have adopted during COVID, things are picking back up, people are taking vacations. And while it’s a little early for us to know if that’s true, I do think it’s a good thing to keep in mind.”

She said making sure it’s the right time for your family to adopt is a great first step. “You want to make sure that you have time to help them adjust and acclimate to your home.”

The folks at SICSA can also help you determine what kind of animal would be the best fit based on your lifestyle. They also said it’s smart to remember what they call the “2-2-2 rule” — two days, two weeks, two months.

“For two days the dog is probably going to be, could be, anxious in a very new environment. Everything is unfamiliar. So it can take a couple of days for them to really start to settle down and start to see their true personality,” Sullivan said.

It can take an animal up to two weeks to pick up on the routines of the house, like what time everyone wakes up and when they get to go outside. Then, by two months a dog should start to truly settle into a new home.

SICSA also offers post-adoption support for things like behavioral issues and medical conditions.

This year’s in-person Clear the Shelters event will be held Saturday, September 18.