Are Pets New Victims of High Cost of Living?

In harsh reality, many Canadians are struggling to make ends meet, forcing families to choose between providing for their children’s needs and caring for their dogs, leaving some owners with little choice except to give their animals to a shelter. As families and even single people struggle to care for their pets, any shelters and humane societies are raising the alarm and pleading for assistance.


Shelters are requesting that families keep their pets and that everyone who is able to make a financial contribution to the cause do so because the demand for their services and support has increased far beyond their capacity.

Canada in not the only country effected by high cost of living. many European countries have the same issue with pet owners abandoning their pets due to high cost of food and increased housing cost. As owners struggle with rising food prices, veterinary charges, and high energy costs, there are more abandoned pets arriving at German animal shelters.

Animal workers in France have observed an alarming increase in pet abandonment rates, with tens of thousands of animals being left off or abandoned in recent months. An urgent appeal for donations and adoptions was made by the Society for the Protection of Animals, a Paris-based nonprofit organization, which said its “exhausted” teams had taken in more than 14,000 animals this summer.

Millions of people in Britain are being forced to make difficult choices in order to survive, with inflation at its worst level in 40 years and the cost of food and energy skyrocketing. Some people are forced to give up their pets due to the rising expense of living. The cost-of-living problem was labelled “an urgent threat to pet welfare” by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), a British charity devoted to animal welfare, and it claimed to be seeing an increase in abandoned animals. According to the charity, more than 129 pets are abandoned in England and Wales per day, up from 104 the year before. The charity also noted that the current economic situation and the increase in dogs bought during the coronavirus crisis last year have made the problem worse.


Canadians struggling with Pets

As families struggle to care for their pets, the Toronto Humane Society is raising the alarm and pleading for assistance.

“The crisis has passed the tipping point,” interim CEO and COO Phil Nichols told blogTO. “It is something we have been tracking and following for a number of years.”

Same story at Vancouver animal shelters, Metro Vancouver shelters are at capacity due to housing shortages and inflation. The need for assistance has quadrupled at Paws for Hope, a nonprofit that provides low-cost veterinary care as well as temporary animal foster care for those going through difficult times.

“We field between 200 or 300 requests a month between our two programs,” said executive director Kathy Powelson to CTV.

The director of the Montreal SPCA thinks the city’s housing problem is directly responsible for a significant rise in the number of abandoned cats and dogs so far this year. “What we believe we’re seeing now is the cost-of-living crisis really biting at the most fundamental level, which is housing,” Montreal SPCA executive director Anthony Johnson said to Montreal Gazette. “Affordable housing is difficult (to find) and the fact that in Quebec landlords can refuse to have pets in their units means that affordable housing with pets is even harder to get. So what we believe we’re seeing now is people being forced to make heartbreaking decisions between keeping their family together or abandoning a family member at the SPCA and having to take an apartment that does not allow pets.”

Animal shelter

No-pet provisions are not permitted by landlords in Ontario, and Québec Solidaire recently proposed introducing legislation to implement a similar ban in this province.

Sad situation leaves furry companions stranded at animal camps, away from familiar faces and love they deserve. Thankfully abandoned pets can have safety and food at animal shelters across the country, but how long can this increase in abandoned pets be sustained is hard to say.

So keep you pets if possible.

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