Financial strain, impacted animal shelters at heart of disturbing trend

Spike in abandoned dogs seen nationwide

Spike in abandoned dogs seen nationwide


SACRAMENTO — Animal shelters across the country, including in Sacramento, are seeing a surge in abandoned pets.

According to the latest data from the Shelter Animals Count, more than 250,000 animals were in shelters over the past year.

Experts with the agency say financial burdens are contributing to the crisis. Annual veterinary bills average hundreds to thousands of dollars. In 2022, on average, pet owners spent $354 on pet food. The agency says that is deterring people from adopting.

At the Bradshaw Animal Shelter in Sacramento, currently housing over 200 dogs with a capacity of 150, the situation is dire. To encourage more adoptions, the shelter temporarily waived fees covering spay/neuter, vaccinations, and microchips.

Luna Anona, a shelter spokesperson, says the struggle is a “revolving door” with adopted dogs quickly replaced by new arrivals.

There are available resources for people who are interested in adopting a pet but feel they won’t be able to afford food or vet care.

Both Bradshaw and Front Street Animal Shelters offer a pet food pantry. The SPCA provides a low-cost vaccine clinic, and 4 R Friends, the street vets, offer free clinics at home.

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