Shelters are seeing more people abandon their pets as they struggle with inflation

Burlington, Vt (WCAX) – Inflation is hitting people in many different ways, from housing to groceries to gasoline. It also causes a slight increase in the number of pets delivered at animal shelters.

The decision to adopt a pet is usually made with certainty. But turbulent times cause some owners to give up their pets or need extra help looking after them.

The Humane Society of Chittenden County is seeing a rise in animal surrender.

“Especially the really emerging situations, people losing housing, people just dealing with the cost of other aspects of their lives. All of these issues put together make it really difficult for people, said Cynthia Harris Cole of the Humane Society of Chittenden County.

The shelter says the combination of urgent calls, staff shortages and more supplies are putting pressure on the organization.

In Washington County, the Central Vermont Humane Society is seeing a similar trend and says short-term solutions to helping people keep their pets are becoming less and less beneficial.

said Laurie Garrison of the Central Vermont Humane Society.

They say they are experiencing increased veterinary and operating costs.

For the first time in a while, they have a waiting list for animal intakes.

“We are very careful about what we call the ability to care. So, if we have animals, animals in the building, there is a certain level of care that we want to be able to do,” Garrison explained.

In Addison County, the Homeward Bound Humane Society says it’s not seeing an increase in surrenders but an increase in the number of people enrolled in the income-qualified support program.

“There is no doubt that there is a shortage of pet-friendly housing in Addison County,” said Jess Danio of the Homeward Bound Humane Society.

The shelter says they see a shortage of dog trainers and grooming behaviors.

They plan to expand their spay and neuter clinic to reach more people, and hopefully to allow more animals to stay indoors.

“It is definitely something that improves the relationship between people and their pets and people and their pets and neighbors in the community in general, as well as owners,” Danio said.

Humanitarian communities say they are here to help. If you are struggling to keep your animal, this is only a phone call to try and help you find different workshop resources and methods to keep your animal in a happy home for as long as possible.

“We are happy to troubleshoot with you. If that saves an extra bag of cat food here and there to get to the next paycheck, we can just do that,” said Harris Cole.

All animal shelters say that adopting pets can help the animals and shelters they come from.

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