Animal rescues

Animal rescues struggle as pet abandonments rise due to rising costs

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Many families are struggling to feed themselves, let alone their pets.

Animal rescues in the Bay Area are struggling as more people abandon their pets due to rising costs and inflation.

“Over the past two months, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of people who are heartbroken but have to return their pets because of the economy,” said Sherry Silk, CEO of The Humane. Society of Tampa Bay.

Like many shelters in the Bay Area, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay is experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of abandoned pets.

“People are losing their homes and apartments, or maybe they haven’t lost an apartment, but gas is more expensive for people, food is more expensive, so the pet is often the one which is forgotten,” Silk said.

Most of the time the shelter is over capacity.

“I would say it’s very serious and we never want to turn an animal away, but sometimes we have to,” Silk said.

To help families keep their pets, HSTB recently expanded its pantry. Two days a week, Tuesdays and Saturdays, people can get free food for their pets.

“Our funds are pretty low right now, so that’s a big help,” said Herschel Kirkland, who picked up food for her new kitten.

“It keeps the animals from going hungry and often keeps the animal with those families because they can come back every week and get another bag of food,” Silk said.

The Humane Society has partnered with fetch websites and encourages families to try to find homes for their pets before taking them to a shelter that may turn them away.

If you want to help, you can make a donation lightly used items and pet food so they can continue to help people and pets in need.