Published March 11, 2023 7:39 p.m. ET
Animal Services held a dog sale this weekend due to being over capacity. (Source: Mason DePatie, CTV News)
Winnipeg animal rescues are sounding the alarm on the number of dogs needing a home in the city as inflation and the rising cost of living force some pet owners to surrender their animals.
Three-month-old Bailey found a new home on Saturday during the City of Winnipeg Animal Services weekend sale.
“As soon as we went in, she was licking our hands and just sweet, so yeah, fell in love,” said Leigh Ward and Brad Carpenter, Bailey’s new owners.
While Bailey was only at Animal Services for a week, many others aren’t so lucky.
The reason Animal Services is holding a sale is that it’s over capacity.
“We’re pushing about 26-37 dogs today. Our comfort level is around 20,” explained Leland Gordon, general manager of Animal Services. “We started our dog sale on Friday, and we had about four dogs get adopted, and then we had four or five come in. We are kind of in this losing battle.”
An unfortunate trend the Winnipeg Humane Society is also dealing with.
“It is astronomical. Every time we adopt one out, there are three more that want to take that spot. We have over 90 dogs in care,” said Kristina Graham, the society’s director of adoptions.
The Winnipeg Humane Society said it normally receives many strays from inside the city and dogs rescued from northern Manitoba, but lately, it’s seeing more people surrendering their pets because they can’t afford them.
“I think it’s due to the cost of living increases,” said Graham. “People are struggling to afford food, groceries, gas, and it’s causing them to have trouble supporting their pets.”
According to the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, owning a dog in Canada can cost almost $4,000 a year with regular vet bills and pet insurance.
Animal Services said it’s important to know the costs associated with owning a pet before getting one.
“Can I take care of a dog financially with the additional cost of high-quality food, veterinary care, licensing, spay and neutering? Do I have a stable home where I live? Am I prepared to do a life-long commitment to a pet?” said Gordon when asked what potential pet owners should consider.
Animal Services said the best way to help with the overpopulation problem is to make sure your pet is spayed and neutered.