The cost of living crises has led to Australians surrendering their pets

Aussies are surrendering their pets thanks to the combined pressures of the cost of living and the rental crisis.

Inflation has soared up to 7 per cent in Australia, and new data also shows rental prices in some suburbs have increased by almost 50 per cent in the past year, pushing a growing number of tenants to breaking point.

A total of 69 per cent of households across metropolitan, regional and remote Australia are now home to one or more pets, according to Animal Medicine Australia.

Owning a pet also doesn’t come cheap.

According to the government’s MoneySmart website, a cat or dog will typically cost you between $3000 to $6000 in the first year of ownership.

The cost does decrease as time goes on but in a typical year, dog owners should expect to fork out around $1627 and cat owners should expect to pay around $962.

Unless you are an Australian who has had a 7 per cent pay rise in the past year, there’s no denying that everyone is feeling the inflation pinch, and some Aussies are sacrificing their beloved pets as a result.

The Queensland Animal Welfare League (AWLQ) has revealed that it has been inundated with inquiries for support from pet owners as Australia’s rising cost of living stretches household budgets.

AWLQ has reported that 29 per cent of animal surrenders are because people are struggling financially or unable to find affordable and pet-friendly rental accommodation.

Currently, the center has close to 200 animals on the waiting list of owners asking for help, and it can’t keep up with the growing demand.

Melinda Phipps is the state rehoming manager for AWLQ and being on the front line is currently dealing with how the cost of living crisis is impacting our pets.

“We are seeing people with full-time positions that are usually reasonably comfortable surrendering their pets because they are now struggling financially,” she revealed.

People getting another pet or family breakups have always been a reason that a pet may end up being surrendered but Ms Phipps has also observed a new reason.

“When people break up with partners, it can now feel impossible to live on a single wage, and if you have a pet, it can become too much,” he shared.

Ms Phipps isn’t surprised to see that Aussies are struggling to support their pets. You only have to head to your local supermarket to see that everyday costs have gone up.

“The cost of living effects everything! People can now struggle to pay for vet bills or are unable to afford proper dog training or no longer buy the food their pet needs,” she pointed out to

Plus if the cost of living is enough of an issue, Ms Phipps is also seeing people who can usually afford to keep a pet having to give them up simply because they can’t find a rental in the competitive market that is pet friendly.

“Landlords get over 100 applications for a property and people with pets often get pushed to the bottom of the list,” she pointed out.

Still, despite the worsening situation, Ms Phipps doesn’t believe that the people giving up their pets should be blamed.

“No one gets a pet thinking they’ll have to surrender them, and it’s always an emotional decision,” she said.

Obviously no one can fully plan and prepare for a financial crisis because so many factors are out of people’s control but Phipps advises for anyone getting a pet to have an emergency plan in place.

“Speak to friends and family and ensure someone could help care for your pet if you do end up in a bind,” she advised.

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