Thousands of Aucklanders have flocked to this year’s Pet Expo, some hoping to find a new family member to take home.
But there are concerns Kiwis are finding pets too expensive, which is putting extra pressure on animal shelters.
From bunnies to birds, all the animals a family could want are on display at the annual Pet Expo in Auckland this weekend.
“We’ve got rabbits, we’ve got rats, we’ve even got reptiles, we’ve got turtles, we’ve got some cats, and that probably covers most of the animals that you’re allowed in New Zealand,” co-organiser Peter Clark told 1News.
It’s been three years since the expo’s been held, and that’s mostly because of Covid delays. Organisers are expecting up to 20,000 people through the doors over the course of the weekend.
But despite the interest, animal organisations say Kiwis are finding pets too expensive as the cost-of-living pressures bite.
“We’ve had dogs that have been in our care for eight months that we just can’t find homes for,” said Serena Maitland from the Boxers and Bullies Charitable Trust.
Auckland Cavy Care rescue has over 200 animals in its care at the moment.
“It’s about the vet costs. You know, if you have a rabbit, you’ve got vaccination costs every year,” she said.
And while pet rescues are struggling to find owners, their message is to do your homework before getting a pet.
Clark believes the investment is worth it.
“There’s nothing like coming home after a hard day at work and being welcomed by a family member,” he said.