Rising cost of living may impact ability of people to care for their pets

Published on 21 June 2022

Surrendering a pet provides best chance for loving new home

As the cost of living increases, RSPCA Victoria is taking the opportunity to remind people that there is no shame in surrendering a pet if they find they can no longer provide appropriate care.

RSPCA Victoria has not experienced an increase in surrenders during the pandemic or post lockdowns as people return to office-based work, however, the animal welfare organisation is aware that a rising cost of living may impede the ability of some pet owners to properly care for their pets and may result in more animal surrenders.

RSPCA Victoria’s Head of Operations, Tanya Drakopoulos, says that while the decision to surrender a pet can be extremely difficult, it means providing a loved pet with a second chance in a new home.

“No one decides to bring an animal into their lives anticipating they will need to surrender them. however, people’s circumstances can change without warning and often for reasons beyond their control.  RSPCA can assist by finding new homes for animals where they can continue to thrive and live happy, healthy lives.

“We understand that life can be unpredictable and while it can be difficult, sometimes the decision to surrender a pet is the best outcome for both owners and pets,” Ms Drakopoulos said.

RSPCA Victoria practices a judgment-free surrender process and will never turn away an animal that ends up at the doors of one of its five shelters across the state.

If pet owners are struggling, they are encouraged to ask family and friends for help or to contact RSPCA Victoria by calling 03 9224 2222.

Case Study – Ralph

Ralph the German Shorthaired Pointer was adopted from RSPCA’s Peninsula facility in November 2021 after being surrendered by his owners when they realised they could no longer provide the love and care Ralph deserved. Ralph fell on his feet when Kayla and Luke adopted him, providing him with all the care, attention and exercise he needs to live a happy, well-balanced life.

After assistance from a dog trainer who helped Ralph’s new family better understand his need for regular exercise and enrichment, Ralph has well and truly settled into his new life. Enjoying all he is offered, Ralph has a Kelpie best friend to socialise with and has regular long runs through the local footy oval to fulfil his need for exercise. Nights on the sofa, chew toys and plenty of love and attention from his owners are keeping this dog a very happy boy. Ralph’s story is an important example of how sometimes the hardest decisions provide the best outcomes for our loved pets.

Case Study – Mindy and Kenobi

In June 2022, RSPCA Victoria accepted surrender of an underweight mare and gelding from an owner who recognised that she could no longer provide the ongoing care they require.   The responsible owner contacted RSPCA Victoria to seek assistance and to enquire about surrendering Mindy and Kenobi. RSPCA Victoria Inspector Jeremy Dean visited the owner at her property to discuss support and the best welfare options for the horses.  While it was an extremely difficult decision, the owner decided to surrender her much loved horses and Inspector Dean transported them to an RSPCA facility where they have received veterinary care, farrier and dental treatment and are being provided with appropriate nutrition to ready them for adoption.

RSPCA Victoria believes that prevention is best and where possible the Inspectors work to support people to achieve good animal welfare. In the case of Mindy and Kenobi, Inspector Dean worked with the owner to ensure her horses would have the opportunity to go into a new home where they will be provided with all they need to live a good life.

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