Families are returning their pets to shelters due to inflation and rising rents

Some pet owners are abandoning their animals as families struggle to pay for housing and necessities amid today’s inflation.

In New York City, the surrender of dog and cat owners in New York City animal care centers is up 25% compared to last year.

“The biggest reason? It’s housing,” Katie Hansen, director of marketing and communications for Animal Welfare, told Fox News Digital.

Many pet owners who abandon their animals in the Big Apple move to places that prohibit or do not allow pets.

“They are moving because they have lost their jobs or can’t afford to live in their home anymore,” Hansen wrote to Fox News Digital.

“Add to that the rising cost of everything – including pet food, other supplies and necessities – and many shelters are already seeing an increase,” she continued. “This sad.”

National shelter data from Shelter Animals Count — a nonprofit organization that monitors the country’s “animal welfare landscape” — shows that from January 2022 to June 2022, the number of abandoned pets increased from 31,606 to 38,066 at 1,050 animal shelters.

Outside of New York City, news reports from across the country are that pet owners are bringing animals to shelters at alarming prices in Akron, Ohio; Jacksonville and Orlando, Florida; Stockton, CA; Houston, Texas; Johnson City, Tennessee; Farmington, New Mexico; and Missoula, Montana.

The ASPCA estimates that the average annual cost for a dog is $1,391 and the average annual cost for a cat is $1,149.

However, these estimates do not include the costs of professional grooming, dental care, or one-time fees for medical procedures (scarring, neutering, microchipping, immunization), training (in class or at home) and pet supplies (carriers, crates., collars, litter boxes, scratching posts and mattresses).

Total pet costs are up 7.1% year-to-date on the CPI, according to Pet Age, a pet news company.

Some pet owners are abandoning their animals to shelters as families struggle to pay for housing and necessities amid today’s inflation.
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“The net CPI increase through June compared to 2021 for total petroleum inflation was 7.1%, which is 85.5% of the unusually high overall rate of 8.3%,” the Pet Age report said.

“It was only 72.5% in March.”

Gasoline, shelter and food are among the “biggest contributors” to rising CPI for all urban consumers, said an economic news release published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics on July 13.

The gas index rose 11.2% while the shelter index rose 0.6% and food 1% in June 2022.

A new rental report from Rent.com – an online apartment search and market engine – estimates that the national average rent for a one-bedroom room is $1,701 (up 25.3% year-over-year) and a two-bedroom is $2,048 (higher) 26.5% on an annual basis).

While the website said rental prices “stabilised this month,” not everyone can keep up with rising costs.

In Jacksonville, an unidentified pet owner abandoned a 10-month-old dog at John Roberts Dog Park in early July — leaving a note saying he was unable to keep the pet “due to a rent increase,” according to First Coast News.

The ASPCA told Fox News Digital that it looked into pet abandonment in May 2021.

It found that the “vast majority” of pets still provide families “joy and comfort, regardless of changes in circumstances, and that loving owners continue to appreciate the essential role pets play in their lives.”

A spokesperson for the organization added that rates for obtaining shelter and adoption fluctuate based on seasonality and other factors converging simultaneously, including breeding seasons, medical and behavioral challenges and long-term staff shortages.

“By making basic veterinary care affordable and accessible to those who need it most, we can keep pets healthy and safe in their homes and outside shelters, while simultaneously enriching people’s lives,” the ASPCA wrote in an email.

“The ASPCA is one of several organizations in the animal welfare field working to provide partially and fully subsidized veterinary care and resources, including pet food, pet care services, and owners, including to our targeted efforts in New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami.”

A representative of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) confirmed that the organization is seeing more reports of animals being abandoned in shelters.

“Some of these reports carry a particularly tragic feature,” Beta told Fox News Digital.

In May, the organization reported on a 6-year-old dog named Baby Girl who was abandoned by her homeless owner in Wisconsin after being turned away by seven animal shelters.

“We hear these stories more and more where shelters face pressure to go ‘no-kill’; rather than taking in all comers, as open-ended shelters do, facilities with ‘no-kill’ policies manipulate their statistics by creating obstacles for people trying to turn over animals and accepting only those who they consider to be more adoptable.” E-mail.

She “is urging guardians to do everything they can to conserve their animals, and urging everyone to sterilize and neuter their animals to prevent further birth in a world already bursting into layers with homeless animals,” Peta continued.

If pet owners find they are unable to care for their animal companions, PETA recommends that they look into open entry shelters that can “accept every animal in need, regardless of adoption for reasons of health, temperament, or physical condition.”

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