CBS NEWS – As 2023 came to close, there were 250,000 more animals in the shelter system than the year before, says Stephanie Filer, executive director of Shelter Animals Count, whose group compiles data from nearly 7,000 shelters nationwide.
“Through November, our numbers are showing a continued and persistent gap in the numbers entering our shelters and leaving,” said Filer, who also noted an increase in puppies and purebred dogs being brought to shelters.
“I’m doing everything I can to hold the Biden administration accountable and cut government spending to rein in the insane amount of inflation we are seeing.” – U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-AL)
Dr. Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of San Diego Humane Society, said in an emailed statement:
“In the past year, San Diego Humane Society, which takes in over 30,000 companion animals each year, observed a 20% increase in lost pets not retrieved by their owners.”
“Families relinquish their pets for various, often heartbreaking reasons, including escalating costs of care, insufficient housing options for pet owners and limited access to veterinary care. We also believe a pause in spay/neuter surgery accessibility during the pandemic has also increased the number of animals in our shelters.”
Since Joe Biden took office, inflation has increased 16.6%. Grocery prices have increased 20% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 7/12/2023). For many dog owners, pet food and vet care have become cost prohibitive.
Many people have pulled back on adopting dogs for the same reason they are relinquishing their pets:
They are worried about their financial situation, according to Katy Hansen, director of communications for Animal Care Centers of NYC, New York City’s largest animal shelter. The organization last year contended with 3,200 abandoned dogs, up 41% from 2022.
“Right now dogs are the bigger issue because we don’t have room anymore. We do interviews in offices that also have crates in them and we have dogs in the hallways,” Hansen said. “We prevented almost 3,000 surrenders last year just by offering free food, temporary boarding, or some people just need help with training.”
Still, there are situations the shelter can’t redress, such as helping find rental properties that take big dogs.
“Landlords in New York City pretty much have the upper hand,” Hansen said. “We’re getting pets that have been in the family for years and years.”
“Animal shelters generally reflect what is happening to people in a community and where there is food insecurity.” Stephanie Filer, executive director of Shelter Animals Count
Dog owners fork over hundreds of dollars a year for veterinary visits, and in 2022 paid an average of $354 for food and $315 for boarding …