Animal rescues around Greater Victoria are rapidly filling up with residents surrendering their pets, prompting organizations to ask for help.
Pamela Saddler with Broken Promises Rescue says she has been in animal rescue since 1996 and has never seen this many animals in need.
“We just have an overabundance of calls for help we’re getting every day, I’m getting a request for people with stray animals or animals needing help, and I’ve been doing the best I can and taking in who I can,” Saddler told CHEK News Thursday.
She said Broken Promises Rescue is overflowing with 70 animals currently in its care.
“Unfortunately, we’ve run out of foster homes and now I’ve run out of money. So it’s heartbreaking because we can’t take anybody else in until I can get everybody covered and vet checked and taken care of that we have already,” Saddler said. “I’ve never seen it this bad.”
She said the cost of everything, including food and vet bills for the rescue, is going up.
Saddler told CHEK News she just paid off the $20,000 Visa bill that had accumulated in charges over the past month, but now the rescue is out of funds.
“I just paid for last month and I have probably 40 appointments at the vet this month. So we need to be able to cover all those bills as well, as well as food and supplies,” she said.
To meet the needs, Saddler estimates she will need between $10,000 to $20,000 for the upcoming month. If not, then she may have to cancel some vet appointments and pay for the necessities out of her own pocket.
“It’s devastating what is happening to her, but it’s happening to all of us and it’s really sad. We are all in this situation now where we are overwhelmed,” Penny Stone, Victoria Humane Society’s executive director, said.
Stone said the Victoria Humane Society is also facing a major overflow problem.
It’s currently caring for more than 100 dogs and over 200 cats, with all their foster families at full capacity.
“There was one day last week I had to turn away 17 dogs because we had no more foster homes and no more places to put it,” Stone explained. “We all cry when we answer the phone and we have to say no.”
She said there are a few things that have contributed to this problem.
She explained that the rising cost of inflation is forcing people to surrender their pets if they can’t afford to house or care for them, a number of people adopted pets during the COVID-19 pandemic while they were home and now don’t have time to take care of them, and more backyard breeders started popping up during the pandemic.
Stone said one of the biggest contributors is people not getting their pets spayed or neutered.
“So all those puppies are having puppies, those kittens are having kittens, and unfortunately it’s an explosion,” she added.
The organizations are asking pet owners to make sure they spay or neuter their animals.
“It’s the most important thing that could help us stop this,” Stone said.
Those considering adding a pet to their family are also being asked to really think about if they have the time and funds to care for an animal before buying one and to consider adopting a pet before buying one from a breeder.
Both Broken Promises Rescue and the Humane Society are looking for more fosters as well.
Those looking to adopt a pet or foster with the Humane Society can do so on the organization’s website.
Another option is to go to the Broken Promises store, the Rescue Boutique at 3588 Quadra St. where all the proceeds from sales goes to help the animals in the rescue’s care.