Saskatchewan animal shelters say affordability is playing a role in the increasing amount of animals being given up.
The consumer price index in the province has jumped from seven per cent to 8.1 per cent. With things costing so much these days, the Regina Humane Society says it’s a big reason for the increase in abandoned pets.
“We’ve certainly seen an increase in animals coming through our doors from 2021 to 2022,” said Bill Thorn, director of marketing and public relations at the Regina Humane Society. “We have seen an increase of about double in costs of looking after an animal as the reason in the case of surrenders.”
The Regina Humane Society has been operating at full capacity for most of the year, putting a real strain on their efforts.
“It does put a lot of pressure on our resources. (We’ve had )to work with communities on surrenders where we even had to go to waiting lists because we need to make sure we have the proper resources to take care of these animals.”
Saskatoon SPCA is another shelter that has seen an increase in surrenders. It’s also been full and had to establish a waitlist for animals that owners want to give up.
“It’s not a situation that’s probably ever going to go away, but it’s unfortunate that there are people now that find themselves in a situation where they need to surrender their animal,” said Trina Mortston, acting executive director of Saskatoon SPCA.
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Mortson agrees that increasing living costs have been a factor in animals being given up.
Moshe Lander, an economics professor at Concordia University says inflation rates are here for at least another year.
“The reality is that we’ve probably got another 12-18 months of above average inflation,” Lander said.
The Humane Society offers pet owners support that may avoid surrender.
“There’s food programs, there’s outreach programs that we have that will help and we always work with the community to help a pet stay in their home,” Thorn said.