Local animal shelters nearly full, inflation blamed for people surrendering their pets – BC

It’s close to a full house at the Langley Animal Protection Society, with more and more animals coming into the shelter than being adopted out.

And it’s now become a crisis, according to executive director Sarah Jones.

“We are absolutely at capacity, maybe even a little bit over,” Jones told Global News.

“We would love not to have a waitlist and be able to help everybody, but we can’t bring in that many animals.”

Read more:

Alberta pet shelters seeing more and more pets abandoned at their doors

While sheltering animals is a key priority, Jones says it doesn’t address the underlying issues at play.

“We want to work hard to make sure that pets can stay with their people,” Jones explained while lamenting how some people are forced to surrender their pets, which they can no longer afford.

Story continues below advertisement

“We will do what we can, where we can in order to support some of those root cause issues but we can’t create pet friendly housing.”

Since inflation took hold in the last year, Jones says the challenging economic times have come down hard on people, impacting their housing and their pets as well.

Jones wants to see welfare extended to pets as well as people because he says animal welfare and people welfare go hand in hand.

Click to play video: 'Special graduation day for Vancouver woman and her guide dog'

Special graduation day for Vancouver woman and her guide dog

“They really do,” Jones said.

“Because pets are emotional support for families and families should not have to give up their animals just to have housing.”

Jones gave an example of a situation that occurred at the shelter recently.

Story continues below advertisement

“We had someone the other day come in their van. They moved into their van because they couldn’t find a home. Their cat is on the front dashboard. We gave them spay and neuter certificates.”

The situation is becoming a grimmer, with some people outright abandoning their animals and not even surrendering them to shelters.

There’s an increasingly common sad story from Susan Patterson, founder of the Thank Dog I Am Out Rescue Society.

“’I live in a pet friendly place that I can’t afford anymore. I have to move, and I can’t find any place that will allow me to bring my dog ​​or my cat.’ That’s a huge one,” Patterson shared.

Her organization’s volunteers foster animals in need of homes, but Patterson is also hearing the same stories over and over from animal shelters across Metro Vancouver.

Read more:

BC government announces multi-year boost to subsidize veterinary education

“Dogs that were abandoned in a dog park or tying the dog up or leaving the dog with somebody and not coming back,” Patterson explained.

“It’s really difficult to surrender a pet that you love, and you don’t want to be part with, and you have no other options but surrendering. It’s so traumatic for both humans and pets.”

Story continues below advertisement

On top of surrendering at the shelter, Jones says some people even lie about owning their pets.

“It’s actually their pet that they’re saying is a stray. So that happened. It’s a little bit difficult to prove, but often they know a little bit too much about the stray or they’re crying when they bring in the stray, so we have an idea that something’s happening there,” Jones expressed in a downhearted tone.

She says her shelter and others like it ask that people not abandon their pets. Instead, Jones encourages anyone who surrenders their pet to provide as much information on the animal as possible to give them a better shot at finding a new home.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Leave a Comment