Orange County shelter overcrowded with pets as rent rises

Nearly 100 cats and dogs are dropped off at Orange County Animal Services every day, and less than half of them are adopted. Rising rental prices are compounding the problem as many people are abandoning their pets. “We’re scared. We’re worried. We need the help of our community,” said Bryant Almeida, public information manager for Orange County Animal Services. Almeida said staff currently care for 170 dogs and more than 150 cats. 100 animals are dropped off every day and only about twenty of them are adopted. Overcrowding forces three dogs into one kennel. “Ideally, we would like to have only one dog per kennel. Three is way too many. I mean a lot of these dogs don’t know each other, some of them don’t get along with other dogs, so that becomes a safety issue as well,” Almeida said. The county receives stray dogs and confiscated animals. But the biggest thing staff are noticing is an increase in people abandoning their pets. “Vet bills get expensive. Dog food gets expensive, cat food, cat litter — those things add up,” Almeida said. inflation, says Almeida, soaring rent prices are most likely making the problem worse, because the main reason people give up on their pets is because people move house. “They’re forced to make that choice, you know, to move to somewhere they can afford or keep their pet. And a lot of people will decide that my dog, my cat will be better off in another house,” said Almeida. Before bringing in an animal, pet owners are advised to exhaust all options. “There are a lot of rescues that would be willing to take animals. Maybe a friend or family could try to relocate them before bringing them here because we’re overwhelmed,” Almeida said. The team is advocating for people to consider adopting, fostering or even volunteering. “Adopt. Don’t buy, just adopt,” Almeida said. Orange County Animal Services offers low-income residents free neutering and spaying for their pets. Staff also offer support for anyone with taken under veterinary care.

Nearly 100 cats and dogs are dropped off at Orange County Animal Services every day, and less than half of them are adopted.

Rising rental prices are compounding the problem as many people are abandoning their pets.

“We’re scared. We’re worried. We need the help of our community,” said Bryant Almeida, public information manager for Orange County Animal Services.

Almeida said staff currently care for 170 dogs and more than 150 cats. Up to 100 animals are dropped off every day and only about 20 of them are adopted.

Overcrowding forces three dogs into one kennel.

“Ideally we would like to have only one dog per kennel. Three is way too many. I mean a lot of these dogs don’t know each other, some of them don’t get along with other people. other dogs, then it becomes a safety issue as well,” Almeida said.

The county receives stray animals and confiscated animals. But the biggest thing staff are noticing is an increase in people abandoning their pets.

“Vet bills get expensive. Dog food gets expensive, cat food, cat litter — those things add up,” Almeida said.

In addition to inflation, Almeida says soaring rent prices are most likely making the problem worse, because the main reason people are giving up on their pets is because people are moving.

“They’re forced to make that choice, you know, to move to somewhere they can afford or to keep their pet. And a lot of people will decide that my dog, my cat will be better off in another house,” Almeida said. .

Before bringing a pet, pet owners are advised to exhaust all options.

“There are a lot of rescues that would be willing to take animals. Maybe a friend or family could try to rehouse them before bringing them here because we’re overwhelmed,” Almeida said.

The team advocates for people to consider adopting, fostering or even volunteering.

“Adopt. Don’t buy, just adopt,” Almeida said.

Orange County Animal Services offers low-income residents free sterilization for their pets.

The staff also offers support to anyone struggling with veterinary care.

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