So far this year, the number of pets released to Toronto shelters is up 75% from the first half of 2021, due to residents returning to the office and rising pet costs. company.
According to Toronto Animal Services (TAS), 709 pets, including cats, dogs and others, were donated to city shelters from January 1 to June 23 this year, compared to 404 during the same period. last year.
Pets abandoned so far this year include 327 cats, up from 260 a year ago, 151 dogs, up from 103 last year, and 231 other animals, up from 41 last year.
“Part of this increase is due to a few instances of hoarding we’ve had with rats and rabbits. We are, however, seeing an overall increase in the number of dogs and cats that are being abandoned,” the TAS director said on Tuesday. Esther Attard, at CP24.
Attard says many people are deciding to give up their pets because they are returning to work as COVID-19 conditions improve.
“(Abandoning pets) is not something new and during the pandemic it was much lower and now we’re just starting to see a slight uptick. And the reasons for that are people seeing things change in their life, new jobs or have to move, not being able to afford the care and cost of a pet right now, because the cost of things has certainly increased and that includes pet food “, she said.
Additionally, many large, high-energy breeds have been turned over to city shelters and are ready for adoption.
“When adopting a dog, it is important for pet owners to consider the size of the dog as well as the requirements of the breed. Some owners may underestimate the amount of training and exercise required for large breeds,” TAS said in a statement to CP24.
The agency says there is currently a waiting list for pet abandonments due to the large number of dogs that have been abandoned or strayed and have never been claimed.
However, Attard says there is room at the shelter for more pets and that TAS is handling their “admission with great care”.
There is a pet fee, but Attard sometimes says that fee is waived depending on the situation.
“We try to recoup some of the cost certainly for animal care where we can and so there is a cost but again that’s not a barrier,” she said.
“We all want to keep pets with their people. That’s our goal. So we try to advise and do whatever we can, providing food, access to care if they need it.” , she added.
In response to the growing number of animals in the shelter system, the city has launched a short-term and long-term foster program to find homes for pets in need.
TAS also has initiatives that reduce the costs of essential pet services to help residents keep their pets.
Last week, TAS hosted its first mobile chip truck of the year, providing microchips, pet licenses and rabies vaccines for pets at a reduced cost.
The next chip truck event is scheduled for July 27 at Breakaway Community Services. Free cat and dog food is also available at the truck while supplies last.
TAS also has a SNYP truck that provides sterilization services to dog and cat owners in low-income households.
Residents with a household income of less than $50,000 should schedule an appointment for the SNYP truck by calling 416-338-6281 or emailing [email protected]
Animals that are available for adoption can be found here.