NJ animal shelters facing severe overcrowding due to inflation

NJ animal shelters facing severe overcrowding due to inflation

Record inflation has caused an overcrowding crisis for North Jersey’s animal shelters with fewer people able to afford their current pets or to adopt a new one.

As families adjust to life after the pandemic and transition back to the office and the classroom, they are finding it difficult to care for pets. Some are relocating out of state for work and others are moving into apartments that prohibit pets.

Others are financially burdened and cannot afford the cost of veterinary care and see no other option but to surrender their animals.

Robyn Urman, founder of Pet ResQ Inc. in Tenafly said, “my goal became keeping animals in their homes instead of removing them. So we will supply food, toys, treat, whatever I can get my hands on. I help people pay vet bills, it’s just become a snowball effect.”

Robyn Urman of Pet ResQ, holds Matilda, 8, and Precious,6, at Plaza Pet in Tenafly on Wednesday July 20, 2022. The bonded pair have been with Urman since November when they were found in an unheated home with their deceased owner.  Urman is hoping the pair find a forever home.

Finding homes for pets is a huge challenge and with an increase in the number of animals being surrendered due to financial hardships and housing challenges, animal shelters are at capacity.

Urman said the foster-based rescue has approximately 18 dogs that are housed in six foster homes and cannot afford anymore.

She said the cost to take care of one dog that was neglected is expensive, costing well over $1,000. Urman had to turn down animals because she is already financially burdened by the ones she currently has.

“Right now I’m full,” Urman said. “I took in a little Cavapoo for example… she has a grade-six heart murmur, she has what they call a PDA and she needs surgery, she will not live six months without it. Her surgery is $8,000.”

Robyn Urman (not pictured) of Pet ResQ, brings foster dogs to Plaza Pet in Tenafly on Wednesday July 20, 2022. (From left) Matilda, 8, and Precious, 6, are a bonded pair that have been with Urman since November when they were found in an unheated home with their deceased owner.  Urman is hoping the pair find their forever home.

Urman, who has been rescuing dogs since 1983 said not being able to take in any more dogs scares and guilts her. She contacts other foster families to see if they are able to take in more however finding foster families is one of her biggest challenges.

Pet ResQ does not have the financial means or the labor force to take in any more animals and is seeking more volunteers, foster parents, and pet lovers who are interested in applying.

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