Animal shelters in California, like many Americans, are struggling financially as inflation continues to climb and are asking for additional support.
U.S. inflation increased to 8.2% in September compared to the same time in 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
The Valley Animal Center in Fresno and The Cat House on the Kings in Parlier are among the shelters struggling to pay bills as they deal with the impacts of inflation.
“We are one of the largest no-kill shelters in California and specifically this part of the valley,” Valley Animal Center Adoption Care Supervisor Ruben Cantu told FOX 26. “We run off of an operating cost of about $200,000 a month and that’s every single month and that does not slow down.”
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Valley Animal Shelter sent out a request for donations in September in efforts to raise $250,000 by the end of October. The shelter hopes to avoid even coming close to thinking about shutting down.
“The worst case scenario is that we have to face closure,” Cantu said. “Now that’s not anything that we are looking at right this second, but that is the ultimate fear is that we will lose the ability to help our community.”
Cantu said the dog kennels are about halfway filled, but the shelter is restricting the number of dogs they are taking in due to a lack of resources.
“The unfortunate thing is it’s not a matter of space it’s a matter of income and being able to costly take care of that animal properly and making sure that it has the things necessary, so one isn’t sitting on my adoption floor for an unwanted amount of time,” Cantu said. “Also that it is getting the things necessary to make sure it is a healthy animal.”
The Cat House on the Kings and potential adoptive pet owners are also experiencing financial troubles.
“I spoke with someone today who really was interested in a kitty that they saw in one of our locations, and they were kind of heartbroken because they couldn’t afford to adopt and or provide the care that would be needed if they did adopt,” The Cat House on the Kings Media and Volunteer Relations Coordinator Beth Caffrey told FOX 26.
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The shelter even cut its adoption fees in half to incentivize people to adopt a pet.
But because of economic setbacks, both shelters are urging their communities to help out.
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“Do anything that you can,” Caffrey said. “Volunteer your time because that’s also very helpful, fostering is key. If you can open up your home, your bathroom to a couple of kittens that would make a lot of difference for us.”