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Pet abandonment on the rise as caring costs claw into bottom line

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The New Brunswick SPCA is seeing a significant increase in the number of abandoned pets being left behind by pet owners.

In Oromocto, they say many don't want to give up their pet but difficult circumstances have left them no choice.

"The most common thing we're seeing is financial reasons,” said Beth Anne White, with the Oromocto SPCA.

“A lot of people can no longer afford to have a pet or the housing situation they have doesn't allow a pet, and seniors as well moving into care can't take their pets,” White added.

"Abandonment calls are up nearly twice as much as last year,” said Tony Porter, chief animal protection officer with New Brunswick SPCA.

“They're up to roughly 312 opposed to 141 last year,” Porter said.

At the pet store, the inflation factor has folks experiencing sticker shock on pet food and products.

"Pets are really a lot of money and it's something you really have to consider before having a pet,” said pet owner Sharon Saunders. “Vet costs, food, when they're sick it's really expensive.”

"We have two cats and a dog and the dog has to have special food so you're looking at at least $100 a month in food,” said Colleen Belanger. “The cats’ food because we do wet and dry the cost of cat food has gone up to like $40 for a case of 24 and that doesn't even do the two cats a whole month.”

The SPCA says they will do their best to help people keep their pets in their homes if it becomes necessary to reach out for assistance.

"It's going to keep putting us over capacity I know our officers have been straight out since the beginning of the year,” Porter said.

“Besides domestic animals we do agricultural animals and it's been a tough, tough year” he said.

"Basically as soon as a cage is empty we are bringing another animal in,” White said.

The Oromocto SPCA alone has more than 50 cats who are or will soon be available for adoption.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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