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Survey says… We need your help to help animals

In our most recent survey of BC animal rescue organizations, half of all respondents reported being at capacity and unable to take in more animals. Over three-quarters reported a decrease in adoption applications and over half reported a decrease in available fosters. Making the situation even worse, these trends are occurring at a time when owner surrenders of animals are increasing.

  • 77% of respondents reported a decrease in adoption applications
  • 69% of respondents reported an increase in owner surrender requests 
  • 50% of respondents reported a decrease in available fosters

In addition to the above pressures, a rise in large-scale animal cruelty cases and a significant decrease in donations to animal rescue and welfare organizations are making our work even more difficult and stressful than it already was. Because adoptions are down so drastically, animals need to stay in shelters and foster homes longer. This affects our capacity and ability to help other animals in need because there is simply no space for new animals.  

Making things even worse is the fact that access to veterinary care for these animals is also becoming more difficult. There is a severe shortage of veterinarians across BC resulting in long waitlists and, in some cases, clinics that are closed to new patients altogether. In some parts of the province, even if there is a veterinarian, the closest clinic is hours away.

What’s going on?

The state of BC’s animal welfare sector is influenced by many things—including broader social issues like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, rising inflation rates, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the catastrophic fires and floods our province experienced in 2021. Individuals and families are struggling and this directly affects BC’s non-profits and charities. An in-depth discussion on how this is impacting pet families can be found here.  

People and families who are used to having disposable income are feeling the impact of inflation and supply chain issues; some may be unemployed. Many are forced to prioritize their spending. As a result, more and more people feel unable to donate to the charity or cause of their choice. 

At the same time, the lack of pet-friendly housing is both the main reason for owner surrenders and affects the number of people who are able to provide foster homes for animals in need. The lack of pet-friendly housing in BC has long been an issue for individuals and families and is now resulting in more and more people and animals being left homeless. This is a devastating and preventable outcome and we have been demanding more pet-friendly housing options for years. 

How you can help

In that same survey, animal welfare and rescue organizations were asked: “What one thing would you ask for from the community?” The three most common responses were: donations and funding, help with fostering or adoptions and spaying and neutering your pets.    

Animal rescue professionals and organizations are incredibly dedicated and resilient. Despite all of these challenges, they continue to show up every day (and often on evenings and weekends) and do the best they can with what little they have.  

But this work shouldn’t have to be so selfless and demanding. This situation is unsustainable and more and more advocates and experts are growing concerned and calling for significant changes—in legislation, funding, and priorities—before we lose more organizations and animals. We are at a critical point. Now more than ever we need your help!

  • Donate to your animal charity of choice. Click here to see a list of our Network Partners.
  • Consider adopting from your local shelter or animal rescue. And be sure to adopt from a responsible, established organization.
  • Consider fostering for your local shelter or animal rescue. It is a cost-free and short-term way of helping out big.
  • Share this post with your social media network to help spread the word.

Help us help animals

In this time of stress and chaos, we also encourage you to be kind and patient with the animal rescue organizations and veterinarians in your community. Our sector is doing the best it can to deal with a significant increase in demand with extremely limited resources. Most of the people in our sector are overburdened and burning out.

But you can help change that. You can help make things better. We can work together to ensure animals are not forgotten as we navigate through these difficult and confusing times. Volunteer some of your time and energy, use your influence to raise awareness, share your space with an animal, or donate to a worthy organization. The results are in… we need your help.

About Paws for Hope

Paws for Hope Animal Foundation is a provincial animal welfare charity whose mission is to keep pets and people together, ensure BC pets survive and thrive, and support positive change in the BC animal welfare sector. Learn how you can support our work here.

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