TAMPA, Fla. — The rising cost of living is now impacting animals in the Tampa Bay area because their owners can’t afford to keep them.
“People are desperate,” CEO of the Human Society of Tampa Bay Sherry Silk said. “It’s heartbreaking.”
Before the pandemic animal shelters were dealing with an influx of stray animals. A lot of animals were adopted during the pandemic, but the numbers are going back up.
“All in all we have about 600 animals in our care a day and that’s a lot,” Silk said. “That’s more than the capacity of the shelter.”
Hillsborough County Pet Resources said owner surrenders are up 480 this year compared to 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 don’t have anymore cages for them,” said Silk.
The other big issue is buying food for their pets. The Humane Society of Tampa Bay has expanded their animal pantry so folks can get free food for their animals. So far they’ve given out more than 130,000 pounds of animal food.
“Hopefully things will get better,” Silk said. “It’s got to get better because the animals really need us.”
The Humane Society is helping people find new homes for pet owners. You can go to the web site and click on the "rehoming" tab, which helps find people in the area interested in adopting pets.
“So, they don’t have to go into an already burdened shelter,” said Silk.
Visit their website for more information.