Sun. May 19th, 2024

Oshawa Animal Services is sounding the alarm as the number of pets in their care who need new homes is at an all-time high.

In a Facebook post, they detailed what they’re going through and how they’re over capacity.

Manager Kathy Pittman-Feltham says she’s never experienced anything like this before, adding it’s something shelters everywhere are going through right now.

“It’s not just us,” said Pittman-Fetham. “We’re definitely feeling the pain, but shelters and rescues all across Ontario, and I’m sure beyond, are drowning. We’ve reached a crisis. It’s a pandemic of a different kind, but we’re seeing numbers [of pets that need homes] that I’ve never seen in my entire career.”

She believes it’s due to a combination of pandemic pets and inflation.

“We’re seeing people who, just given the current financial state, just aren’t in a position anymore to care for their animals,” she explained. “We’re seeing people who maybe had an animal through the pandemic and then weren’t able to access training resources or whatever, well now you have a two-year-old dog on your hands that maybe hasn’t been socialized or hasn’t been trained properly. We’re seeing a lot of that.”

Pittman-Feltham says some of the other animals who need homes are puppies from backyard breeders and pets with medical issues.

“It’s a pretty crazy time to be in the animal world,” she added.

She is also encouraging people struggling to train their animals to reach out to Oshawa Animal Services for guidance.

“Reach out,” she said. “We’re happy to be a resource. If it can keep an animal in a home, we will help however we can. If you are looking for information on who is the best trainer to be suited to that [behavioural issue], we can do those connections. If you need help with [pet] food, we offer a [pet] food bank.

Many people are just giving up on their pets for various reasons and dumping them at Oshawa Animal Services.

“We used to see that maybe a few times a year, now it’s a weekly occurrence,” said Pittman-Feltham.

While many pets need homes, Pittman-Feltham is stressing the importance of doing your research before signing adoption papers and to consider the commitment of a pet.

As for how the community can help during these trying times, she had no shortage of suggestions.

The shelter is desperate for foster homes for pets, especially medium-to-large dogs.

They would love for people to participate in their “Doggy Day Out” program, where you can take a dog for a day. Pittman-Feltham added by people taking a dog for a day, it gives them a better idea of what the dog is like outside of a shelter so they can find them the right home.

They’re always in need of donations, including clean, used towels and blankets, gift cards to major retailers, pet stores and grocery stores and unopened, unexpired pet food.

Monetary donations are always welcome and help the shelter pay for medical costs, as well as other things for the animals.

For more information about fostering, volunteering, the Doggy Day Out program and Oshawa Animal Services in general, click here.

Photo courtesy of Oshawa Animal Services

By admin