Animal associations

Cost of Living Now Impacting Bay Area Animal Shelters

TAMPA, Fla. — The rising cost of living is now impacting animals in the Bay Area, as their owners can’t afford to keep them.

“People are desperate,” Human Society of Tampa Bay CEO Sherry Silk said. “It’s heartbreaking.”

Before the pandemic, animal shelters were dealing with an influx of stray animals. Many animals have been adopted during the pandemic, but the numbers are going up.

“Overall, we have about 600 animals in our care a day and that’s a lot,” Silk said. “It’s more than the capacity of the refuge.

Hillsborough County Pet Resources said owner buyouts were up 480 this year from 363 last year. It’s basically the same situation in other Bay Area counties.

“Some days we just have to turn people away because we’re out of cages for them,” Silk said.

The other big problem is buying food for their pets. The Humane Society of Tampa Bay has expanded its animal pantry so people can get free food for their animals. So far they have distributed over 130,000 pounds of animal feed.

“Hopefully things will get better,” Silk said. “It has to get better because the animals really need us.”

The Humane Society helps people find new homes for pet owners. You can go to the website and click on the “rehoming” tab, which helps find people in the area interested in adopting pets.

“That way they don’t have to go to an already overcrowded shelter,” Silk said.

Visit their website for more information.