Local rescues seeing increase in abandoned pets


Located in Bountiful, Fawn’s Family Cat Rescue and Lounge is dedicated to rescuing pets and bringing awareness to the issue of surrendered pets.

Areah Watterson is the founder of Fawn’s Family Rescue. She began rescuing animals back in 2020. Since then, Watterson said she has rescued around 350 animals and found homes for 250 of them.

“We pull from local shelters. So Salt Lake County we pull from a lot, um, NUVAS, SUVAS, um, Weber, Davis … I could keep going, there’s a lot of them,” Watterson said. 

Watterson has seen a spike in surrendered pets, especially cats, she said. She attributed the increase to the economy and the housing crisis here in Utah.

She is getting ready to launch a cat lounge and adoption center for rescued cats because of what she called a “cat crisis.” Several of the kittens she’s rescued have disabilities, such as paralyzed legs or missing eyes. 

“Eventually I do want this place to succeed on its own and give the money back to the cats … Every penny that comes in here. It’s going to go back to the cats,” Watterson said.

It’s not just Fawn’s. Utah Valley Animal Rescue in Spanish Fork has also seen a similar trend.

“So we’ve seen a big increase in owner surrenders. A lot of people are getting rid of their dogs right now and most places are really full with dogs right now so … it’s really hard,” Joselyn Seamons said, who has worked at Utah Valley Animal Rescue for two years, now known as “All Paws Count.” 

The Humane Society of Utah reported a 78% increase in surrendered pets last year.

Utah Valley Animal Rescue and Fawn’s Family Rescue encourage people in the area to adopt or foster these furry friends, or donate if possible.

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