Local animal shelters are experiencing an increase in animal returns
KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) – Rising inflation and rising rent prices aren’t just affecting putting food on the table for families in Central Texas, it’s also leaving some with no other choice. than to get rid of their pets.
Angelia Kulbusauskas makes one of the toughest decisions of her life, giving up her dog, Ladybug, for adoption.
“It’s my baby,” she said.
“I’ve had her since she was a puppy at six weeks…She sleeps with me and she’s my partner. So it’s going to be hard to lose. My husband passed away a few months ago and we have two other dogs together I live in a unit that only allows two dogs or I will be evicted.
Kulbusauskas is not alone, due to the COVID pandemic, rising inflation and rental costs, many people are simply unable to care for their pets.
Journey Home Rescue and Pearl’s Place in Killeen have reported an increase in pet returns in the past three months alone. Meanwhile, the Humane Society of Central Texas in Waco says that in six months more than 2,000 dogs were brought to the shelter.
“We often get that,” said Mike Gray, community and brand manager.
“I’ve been in those shoes before where you make minimum wage and it’s hard to take care of a dog. The last thing you want to do is abandon your dog.
“This year has been really tough for adoptions,” said Dorene Burlew of Journey Home and Pearl’s Place.
“There have been many people who have tried to relocate due to financial obligations or relocation. I get at least two to three emails and calls a day from people who need to relocate or return their dog.
While the two shelters are trying to either adopt the dogs into new families or give extra food and medical care to those who are struggling when they can, it’s unclear how many more dogs might come next. As for Kulbusauskas, she just hopes Ladybug can find a better home.
“As much as it hurts to have to let her go, I know that if I could find her a home with someone who has a yard and a place where she can run and play instead of being locked up in an apartment, it ‘is very important.”
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