BC animal organization needs foster homes for dogs due to increasing surrenders – BC

An animal organization that works to keep owners and pets together says it is receiving an increasing number of calls for surrenders.

Kathy Powelson, executive director of the Paws For Hope Animal Foundation told Global News they are hearing heartbreaking stories of people needing to give up their pets and all the shelters are full.

The organization was set up to keep pets with their families when facing financial or housing challenges.

“The No Pets Left Behind program provides temporary foster care for people who are experiencing a crisis,” Powelson said.

“And what we do is we put the pets into a foster home and care for those pets while their person gets back on their feet.”

However, Powelson said they are seeing “a significant increase” in requests for surrenders.

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“Our program is intended for a temporary foster care to reunite families, but because the shelters are so full and rescues are full, two people are really struggling to find a place to rehome their pets,” she said.

Powelson added that they try not to accept owner surrenders because it reduces vacancies for people who need temporary foster care for their pets.

Click to play video: 'Animal adoptions slow in BC after pandemic rush'

Animal adoptions slow in BC after pandemic rush

But she said they know everyone is struggling.

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“People are losing their pet-friendly housing,” she said.

“And they’re not able to find affordable housing that they can bring their pets with them. I think that is a major reason people are surrendering their animals. Also, with the rising cost of living, people are finding it harder and harder to care for their pets. Even just the daily, pet food and supplies sometimes.

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“Then what happens is there’s a major veterinary issue. They don’t have funding for it and those types of reasons are compacting the challenges that pet families are experiencing today.”

Last weekend in Aldergrove, a two-year-old dog was found tied to the gates of a shelter. The staff eventually found out that the owner had to undergo medical treatment and could no longer care for her dog.

Click to play video: 'Metro Vancouver shelters see increase in abandoned pets'

Metro Vancouver shelters see increase in abandoned pets

Cassie Preston, program manager for the No Pets Left Behind program said they have fielded more calls recently, especially for dogs.

“It’s hard to rehome dogs and it’s hard to find space in the shelters right now, they’re all full,” she said.

“For us, it’s really foster homes,” Preston said.

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“We struggle with just having enough foster homes available, but really, we’re always helping cats, I would say (it’s easier) to foster a cat than a dog. But for anyone who is really interested in wanting to learn to foster a dog, it is a little more challenging.”

Preston is currently fostering a Golden Retriever puppy named Primrose.

She said someone contacted them because they realized they were allergic to the dog.

“She was going around and looking for a shelter to take the dog and she couldn’t find anywhere to take her,” Preston said.

She added that fostering an animal is very rewarding, even though it is a lot of work.

“It’s kind of the same as helping out your family member or your friend,” Preston said.

“You’re helping out a person and a dog or cat or guinea pig or, you know, a hamster who is very much loved, and making sure that they’re okay, helping them settle in is very rewarding to the fosters.”

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By hadem