The marked increase in the cost of living is reflected in an increase in the abandonment of animals in shelters, the Montreal SPCA says.
According to its general manager, Sophie Gaillard, about 20 animals are abandoned every day at the shelter for financial reasons, a reality that other organizations also experience on a daily basis.
Since the beginning of the year, the Montreal SPCA has welcomed 113 more cats and 81 more dogs than for the same period in 2022.
“It’s not necessarily that people are irresponsible or that they no longer love their animals,” Gaillard stressed during an interview with The Canadian Press. “These are people who are forced to abandon their animals because they can no longer afford to take care of them.”
The difficulty of finding affordable housing that accepts animals, loss of employment, excessive veterinary costs, separation and other vagaries of life can lead a person to have to entrust their companion to a shelter.
This is because many pet owners underestimate the real cost of adopting a dog or a cat, among other things, especially since these little companions have an average life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
“It’s actually not within everyone’s reach,” Gaillard said.
“In addition to the initial cost of acquiring an animal, other costs must be considered: food and treats, grooming, educational courses, the purchase of litter, toys, hiding places, scratching posts and other accessories,” the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ), which has jurisdiction over pets. says on its website.
Basic veterinary costs such as vaccination, deworming and sterilization, in addition to other care that may arise if the animal is injured or has health problems, also add to those costs.
According to figures put forward by the Ordre des médecins vétérinaires du Québec, it would cost about $2,300 annually for an adult cat and $2,700 for an adult dog to meet their basic needs, an amount that can still vary from breed to breed and animal to animal .
The amount is higher for young animals, which need more care during their first year of life.
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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.