With lock downs and working from home the new normal as COVID-19 swept across the nation starting two years ago, millions of Americans became new pet owners as a way to rid themselves of loneliness.

Now, as the omicron variant continues to fade, apparently so is the love for many of those furry companions.

According to the ASPCA, nearly 23 million American households acquired a pet during the COVID-19 crisis. And while most of those pets are in forever homes, not all of them will be so lucky.

And it's not just dogs and cats. It's rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, and more.

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One rescue group in New Jersey says they are "totally overrun" with small animals and they are in desperate need of help.

As reported by patch.com, the Amwell Animal Rescue Group in Hillsborough is struggling.

Hope Valenti told the publication, "it's COVID overload."

And that overload is hitting from two sides. Not only are people going back to work and not home as much with their pets, but the cost to keep a pet is skyrocketing as inflation makes everything more expensive.

The pandemic has put a strain on residents' finances causing more people to give up their animals.

That group is in desperate need of just about any type of pet supplies -- you can find out how to help at patch.com.

Closer to home, Funny Farm Animal Rescue in Mays Landing could also use your help.

If you are interested in re-rescuing a pet, you may wish to start your search at the Atlantic County or Cape May County Animal Shelters, which are both open by appointment.

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