Pet warning: RSPCA sees spike in pets being surrendered to animal shelters

Pet warning: RSPCA sees spike in pets being surrendered to animal shelters

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In this article, you will get all the information regarding Pet warning: RSPCA sees spike in pets being surrendered to animal shelters

Hundreds of pets are being surrendered to animal shelters across Australia as pet owners struggle to keep up with the rising cost of living pressures.

For many pet owners, the added cost of looking after an animal is leading them to make the “heartbreaking decision” to surrender their furry friend.

RSPCA Victoria head of operations Tanya Drakopoulos told Ilmhunt.com.au that surrenders to the organisation’s animal shelters had hit record numbers.

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“We are seeing a lot higher numbers than we have seen in previous years,” she said.

“We have about 400 more animals currently than we did during this same time last year.”

Drakopoulos said while a lot of factors could be playing into the record high numbers, she believes many people are simply no longer in the financial position to look after a pet.

“We’ve also seen a decline in our adoption applications,” she said.

“That could be because people are wanting to live their lives again after COVID, and are travelling and looking to the future more.

Animal shelters are receiving record numbers of surrenders. File image. Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

“People are trying to build themselves back up because it’s been a really tough few years, so many are not in a financial situation where they can take on an animal.”

Drakopoulos added RSPCA Victoria shelters are currently at capacity, meaning animals may be waiting longer to find a home.

“We are doing everything we can to find animal homes and moving them through the shelter but it is a really difficult time,” she said.

The RSPCA said in some instances struggling pet owners left it too late to seek help and so their animals were malnourished when surrendered to the shelter.

Drakopoulos says if you are struggling financially or otherwise, seek help sooner rather than later.

“It’s a really heartbreaking decision to make because animals are part of people’s families,” she said.

“But I would recommend people talk to their local vet clinic, and they can advise on the range of products available that are tailored to their pet’s needs and work on the most cost-effective solution that will still deliver animal welfare.”

The RSPCA practices a judgement-free surrender process and will never turn away an animal, Drakopoulos says.

Winter warning

Meanwhile, pet owners are also being urged to check their furry friends are safe and warm.

RSPCA Victoria CEO Dr Liz Walker told Ilmhunt that, while some animals could live happily outdoors in colder weather, extra care was needed during winter.

“It’s really important to remember that if you and I are feeling the cold, your dog or cat are likely to be feeling it too,” she said.

“And the safest way to make sure your animal isn’t exposed to the rain, or the cold and wind, is to find somewhere safe for them to be inside.”

Walker also said winter usually brought an influx of cruelty reports.

“Last year RSPCA Victoria received over 4700 cruelty reports during the winter months, with common issues being underweight animals, insufficient food and shelter, poor husbandry and lack of veterinary treatment,” she said.

“It’s important pet owners consider any additional requirements needed during winter, such as extra bedding, more food and adequate shelter away from the wind and rain.”

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Pet warning: RSPCA sees spike in pets being surrendered to animal shelters

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