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Shelter in 'dire situation' as dog adoptions drop, pet surrenders rise as owners struggle with costs of living

Six-month-old puppy, Vincent, looks out his kennel as he waits at the Georgian Triangle Humane Society  to be adopted. (Courtesy: Georgian Triangle Humane Society) Six-month-old puppy, Vincent, looks out his kennel as he waits at the Georgian Triangle Humane Society to be adopted. (Courtesy: Georgian Triangle Humane Society)
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Dog kennels are bursting at the seams as pet owners forced to give up their furry friends struggle with risings costs of living.

The Georgian Triangle Humane Society (GTHS) is facing a growing demand for its services amid pet relinquishment increases.

"So far this year, we have accepted 95 pet surrenders, a number that has increased from 74 in the same period in 2022," stated GTHS Executive Director Sonya Reichel. "Pet parents struggle with housing insecurity, rising costs (including veterinary care) and access to resources, such as behavioural support."

Reichel said the shelter reported a 94 per cent increase in dog surrenders last year.

The humane society notes a rise in cat and kitten adoptions, but dog adoptions are down by over 50 per cent, meaning canines are waiting nearly three times as long for a forever home than last year.

Reichel said the shelter is "in a dire situation" as its 6,000-square-foot facility, designed for 500 animals, is at capacity.

"Just this week alone, the onsite team took in a total of 13 unexpected animals whose situations were so emergent, there was no choice but to help. This puts our capacity for care over 120 per cent," she added.

The Collingwood shelter has had to lean especially hard on its Foster Volunteers, who are already maxed out caring for pets in need of shelter or emergency board.

As a result, the team is appealing to anyone who has considered fostering animals in the past to join its team.

The GTHS, a non-profit charity, relies on donations, volunteers, and foster homes to provide care and support to animals in need.

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