'The cost of living is going up': Wake County Shelter is inundated with surrenders and strays

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Sunday, November 6, 2022
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The Wake County Animal Shelter is at capacity after more than a 100 animals came in over a three-day period.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Wake County Animal Shelter is packed with animals these days. The Center says it is at capacity after more than a 100 animals came in over a three-day period.

About 50 percent of the animals coming in are strays and the other half are surrenders.

ABC11 is being told a lot of people are citing similar reasons for handing over their pets.

"Financial and housing are definitely the two biggest reasons why people are surrendering right now. The cost of living is going up, trying to find pet friendly housing is getting harder and harder to find. Veterinary care is going up, it's just a lot," said Wake County Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator Meagan Thomas.

A survey by Veterinarians.org highlights how inflation is impacting pet owners.

It finds nearly a quarter have considered rehoming or surrendering their pet in the last 12 months, 33 percent have canceled prescription medications on big name websites, 50 percent are shopping for cheaper food, and 46 percent have had to forego or delay veterinary procedures or treatments.

Harnett County is also reporting that its shelter is at capacity and animals are at risk of being euthanized. The center is waiving adoption fees to make room.

"If you are looking for an animal right now, now is the time. We definitely need help," said Thomas.

In hearing about the urgent situation and that some of the Wake animals were close to their final hold dates, Susan Bray started reaching out to rescues.

She's been successful in finding temporary homes for pets while they wait on their forever family.

"Everyone can play a role, everyone can do something. I have a house full of animals right now. Not everybody can do that, but they might have a friend who can foster or they might have a friends, who's looking to adopt," said Bray.

Wake has two promotions right now for senior pets or long-timers.

Starting Tuesday, Nov. 1, cats and dogs 8 years and older are available at reduced rate. It will cost just $25 to take home a senior dog, and you can name your price for cats. The pricing is the same for animals that have been at the shelter for a long stay.