Humane Society cites housing crisis as donations drop, pet surrenders increase

Leaders at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay are sounding the alarm about an influx of surrendered pets. They say many pet owners report being unable to care for their animals due to losing their apartments as rent prices skyrocket.

Chief Executive Officer Sherry Silk told FOX 13 News that shelter leadership is growing concerned about how inflation and the cost of living are affecting operations, including donations to Humane Society of Tampa Bay.

Silk described a story about one person who surrendered their dog because they had lost their apartment and were forced to sleep in their car. Simultaneously, the cost of everything pets need is increasing, including pet food, medication, veterinary care and supplies.

Right now, the shelter is at capacity.

READ: Humane Society helps ‘working cats’ not fit for adoption find jobs

Despite the setbacks, Humane Society of Tampa Bay is doing what it can to make sure each pet has a safe place to live, urging anyone with extra space, time, and resources to consider adopting or fostering a pet.

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay also offers several services to help pet owners keep their animals.

“For Tampa Bay citizens who are struggling to care for their pets, we offer free dog and cat food at our shelter every Tuesday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In addition to food, we now offer more – supplying collars, leashes, beds, and more,” the shelter says on its website. “Receiving Food & More assistance is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Recipients must provide proof of residence. For more information about pet food distribution, please call 813-876-7138, extension 0. If you would like to help those owners and pets in need, please donate a bag of pet food or supplies to our shelter.”

For homebound and elderly citizens who are unable to travel to the shelter, it also delivers monthly supplies of dog and cat food. For residents who are struggling to afford vaccinations for their dogs, HSTB offers free vaccinations during its annual shot clinic in the fall. 

Learn more by clicking over to the shelter’s website