Seattle Humane says high inflation is forcing people to give up their pets
A dog looks on at Seattle Humane on March 23. The humane society said there has been an increase in pet owners calling to give up their pets. (KOMO News)

Seattle Humane is reporting an increase in people calling to give up their pets, and one of the reasons is due to high inflation.

Brandon Macz of Seattle Humane said the high cost of food, living expenses and even the difficulty of getting pets veterinary care is contributing to the increase in calls.

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"It's very hard to get an appointment for your pet," Macz said. "A lot of people are leaving more so than the ones who are entering, so clinics are shutting down and it's getting very hard getting that necessary medical care. And lets not forget the cost as well."

Macz said they received close to 3,000 surrender requests last year compared to 1,300 in previous years. In just the first two months of 2023, over 400 pets have been given up. One pet owner told KOMO News she understands why people are struggling.

“It is not cheap, his food alone costs about $100, he eats a lot, he’s a big dog, vet bills come, and he has to get three teeth removed in June, and that’s going to be like $3,000, so it’s expensive and unpredictable," said Audrey Goulart, who's looking to adopt another dog.

A dog named Buttercup was recently found on the Bellevue College Campus with a harness that said, ‘Help me.’ Macz said they’re not sure if the dog was left there by the owner, but they’ve had no luck in finding them. Seattle Humane urges pet owners to take advantage of the help they offer before making the tough decision of giving up their four-legged friends.

As a way to help, Seattle Humane has programs in place to help owners who are going through hardships. It offers a program that puts pets in temporary foster homes until the owner is able to get them back.

“We have our spot temporary foster program that gets utilized a lot by people who are facing housing instability. They can put their pets in our care for several months, at which point they can come back once they stabilize and receive their pets," said Macz.

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