After the pandemic struck, lives everywhere were changed. Not only were lives lost, but incomes and mental health were affected grievously. To add, the lives of pets changed for the worse as the housing crisis saw a tremendous increase in animals surrendered to shelters across the US.
To give you an idea of how bad the situation is, in late 2020, the ASPCA estimated that there were around 19.2 million pets residing in homes that were teetering on eviction due to Covid-19.
Since the pandemic has severely damaged the income of many households, families across the country have sought new and affordable homes even if it means leaving their beloved pets behind.
The amount of pets now found in shelters is alarming and upsetting as the fact is: that there is a terrible lack of pet-friendly homes across the US. In addition to this, there are a number of families that have resorted to sharing spaces and have given up their pets as someone in the household has severe allergies.
The Darker Side…
Whether it’s a lack of space in local shelters or a lack of conscience, other pets are not so lucky. In the midst of the housing crisis, families aren’t just leaving former homes behind for cheaper accommodation but also their pets.
If you happen to follow the news or animal rights pages on social media, you may have already come across the multitude of videos conveying kind individuals rescuing poor animals that have been left behind or abandoned. These pets are either found left in houses or even on roadsides. Whereas it’s comforting to know that selfless humans exist and go above and beyond for animals, the sad reality is that humans left them in the first place.
What can you do to help?
It’s safe to say that there are a plethora of families that tried everything they could before having to resort to giving up their animal companions. After all, our pets are our family, so the decision isn’t an easy one. So you may be asking yourself ‘how can I help?’.
For kind individuals who want to help, consider getting in touch with local shelters to find out what you can do. Some shelters may need volunteers to help out and others may need donations of/for food, litter, and other essentials to help look after their animals. In some instances, shelters may be reaching out for people to become foster parents of animals in need.
If you’re unsure where to start looking, take a look at Animal Shelter as it contains a directory useful for finding shelters across the US.