Blaming inflation, more pet owners are giving up their pets, shelter says

Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 4:34 AM CDT
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INDIANOLA, Iowa (KCCI) - The cost of everything is going up.

Inflation is hitting pet owners, forcing some to surrender their pets to local animal shelters.

“People call us every day wanting to surrender their animal,” said Julie Skellenger, manager of Kiya Koda Humane Society.

Before 11 a.m. Tuesday, Skellenger received three calls of people wanting to surrender their pet.

It’s becoming so common, they’re almost out of space in their shelter to take them in.

“We only have so much space in our facility, so if we don’t have the room, we have to tell them no,” Skellenger said.

She said there’s also an increase in the number of dogs dumped in Warren County.

“They will be wearing a collar. Sometimes they’re even wearing a harness. They look like they’ve been taken care of, but I think people just … I mean, we don’t want to assume anything and think badly of people, but I think they dump the animals.” Skellenger said.

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa sent a statement saying when the economy turns, pet owners struggle with cost, including housing and veterinary costs, which are more often beyond many people’s grasp.

Skelleneger said she is seeing more pet owners come in for help with food and supplies.

“They’re embarrassed and they apologize and say they just can’t afford the cost of the food right now so we help them out,” Skellenger said.

The small animal shelter is having a tough time keeping up with costs themselves. Their vet bills are more than $6,000 a month - and rising.

“Our vet costs have increased tremendously because the number of animals coming in. We have to get them ready for adoption and it costs us more money,” Skellenger said.

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