Pandemic pet surrenders increasing as cost of living rises

Rising costs are hitting families hard and now that financial strain is causing them to make...
Rising costs are hitting families hard and now that financial strain is causing them to make tough decisions, like getting rid of the their pets.(WTOC)
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 5:43 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Rising costs are hitting families hard and now that financial strain is causing them to make tough decisions, like getting rid of the their pets.

This is a last resort for the pet owners. They try to get them with friends and family or a rescue first, but they are seeing an increase here at the Chatham County Animal Control and they are almost at capacity.

Looking at the numbers - in just a three month stretch from April to June of this year compared to last year. Dogs being surrendered by their owners has almost doubled going from 64 to 113.

Stray dog intake have also increased this year from 221 to 286.

The director of animal services says most of the people that brought pets in said they cannot afford them anymore with rising rent costs and additional pet fees for apartments.

The county is starting to get concerned as the number of adoptions have stayed the same and dogs are having to stay at the shelter for an extended period of time.

“We can give playtime in the yard, we can do those things, we make kongs with peanut butter in them to help stimulate their minds but it is a kennel situation not ideal for dogs to live in long term and as we see, some dogs can mentally deteriorate the longer they stay here. Some of those dogs ultimately have to be euthanized because of the length of stay, we try our best to not do things like that but it is the reality of the situation,” said Dr. Jake Harper, Chatham County Animal Services Director.

Dr. Harper says he has never seen it this bad, but this is not just a Chatham County issue but something shelters across the state are seeing and they are asking for your help.

There are a couple things, first of all if you have pets get them spayed and neutered to help control the population. Also, if you do have the ability to adopt one of those dogs. Or consider fostering, they will pay for all the supplies, food and vet visits, you just need to care for the pet.

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