Watch CBS News

Animal Shelters See Rise of Returned Pets, Citing Affordability Concerns

ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — Local animal shelters are seeing a disturbing trend of pet owners surrendering their furry friends, most often citing affordability concerns.

Leilani Fratis, the CEO of Placer SPCA, said she believes the trend is going to get worse before it gets better.

"We're just a reflection of what's going on in the community," she said.

Meli Wikel spent the last year looking for the right puppy for her family.

"It's really a good time to go out there and look," Wikel said. "You can find just about anything that you want out there."

The problem: there are too many.

"There's going to be a tipping point where we all become full," Fratis said.

The animal welfare and sheltering community is worried about the wave of owners returning pets.

"We're seeing an influx of a variety of animals not the least of which is rabbits," Fratis said.

The lists also include guinea pigs, kittens, puppies and big dogs.

So, what gives?

According to Fratis, this isn't the result of pandemic pet adoptions.

"There's inflation and the cost to care for animals," she said. "There's the cost to acquire a pet. There's a fear about the supply chain."

The veterinarian shortage also contributed to the return of pets.

Fratis explained how low supply not only created a backlog for services but also passed higher fees to clients as places scramble to attract and retain vets.

The animal shelter is already feeling the squeeze with around 350 animals in its care. It is hoping each one will find a permanent home.

Wikel said she planned to return to the shelter later in the day with her boyfriend to see if a 4-month-old puppy is the right fit for the family.

"I've always wanted a dog and the time is right," she said.

Placer SPCA is seeing animals stay longer as more come into the shelter, but it wants to see these animals stay with their owners.

If you need help, here is a list of resources meant to keep pets with their forever homes.

Placer SPCA
Pet Food Assistance
Financial Assistance

Sacramento SPCA
Animal Medical Assistance Program

Rehoming websites

County of Sacramento
Bradshaw Animal Shelter: Pet Pantry

City of Sacramento
Front Street Animal Shelter: Pet Food Pantry

Other assistance and financial resources

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.