Influx of animal surrenders amid housing crisis

With rising inflation, lack of affordable housing, rising evictions, and increased rental fees, people are having to move and having an extremely difficult time finding housing they can afford or properties that allow pets, and many people are struggling to make ends meet, shelters from coast to coast are seeing a drastic increase in the number of owner surrenders putting millions of pets at risk of entering the shelter system, including the Potter League.

It’s completely heartbreaking. We spoke with WPRI 12 recently about the agonizing and devastating decisions families are facing while trying to do what is best for their furry family members.

The pandemic pet phenomenon, often discussed as the source of the present crisis, was overstated. The national narrative of owners returning pandemic pets is neither entirely true nor particularly fair. People are, however, concerned about bringing a new family member into the household because of the economy, which may account for lower and slower adoption rates.

So what can we do?

    1. If you own a rental property or know someone who does, consider allowing pets.
    2. Along with adopting, fostering, donating, and volunteering with your local animal shelter and rescue organizations, you can help by raising awareness.
    3. If you need to rehome an animal, consider supported self-rehoming, and we have resources available on our website.
    4. Encourage people to learn more about the problem and how they can help transform animal welfare efforts during this historically difficult time.
    5. If you find yourself needing to move or relocate, please plan ahead:
      • Negotiate with your landlord
      • Register with housing agencies quickly
      • Join animal surrender waitlists far in advance of moving
      • Contact smaller shelters
      • Look up re-homing websites
      • Consider short-term boarding

Learn more about this pet crisis at Let’s spread awareness and support local shelters in finding animals loving homes!

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