RALEIGH, N.C. — Tough economic times have caused more people to give up their pets to shelters. To combat the increasing pet population at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Wake County officials are putting dogs on sale and starting a food bank program.
Ashlea Anderson, SPCA of Wake County adoption counselor, said she talks to someone who can no longer afford to keep their pet just about every day. The shelter has seen a 14 percent increase in people giving up their pets during the past two months.
More pets have been coming into the shelter and fewer adoptions have been taking place. Puppies are often adopted quickly, leaving older dogs to find a home.
“A lot of people once they hear the information about the cost of vet care …are deciding not to adopt or not to apply at this time,” Anderson said.
The facility has started to offer a $15 discount on certain dogs.
“As a non-profit trying to make ends meet, we don’t offer a lot of discounts,” SPCA Marketing Director Mondy Lamb said.
Potential dog owner Jason Pierce said the discount is a good incentive.
“It helps. I’m a frugal person,” Pierce said.
The SPCA is also starting a pet food pantry to provide owners in need with a month's supply of food with the hopes they'll keep their pet. Donations are currently being accepted for the food bank.
The SPCA Pet Food Pantry will distribute food on Aug. 16 from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the loading dock of the SCPA of Wake County Pet Adoption Center at 200 Petfinder Lane in Raleigh. The pantry will be open on the third Saturday of each month.
The pantry will give participants enough food, based on the size and number of pets, to last their pets one month. Food will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.
Food will be given out to anyone in need, organizers said. Eventually officials hope to get these pet owners into their spay/neuter program to reduce the animal population.
“For many pets staying in their home and out of an animal shelter can mean the difference between life and death,” Lamb said.