The Nova Scotia SPCA is seeing an increase in animal surrenders and is trying to do all that it can to help while the requests keep coming.
Surrenders of animals are up in the first six months of 2023, over the first six months of 2022. While over 230 more are on a waitlist.
“There is only so much space in our shelters, and we need to triage the requests. We need to have some flexibility for enforcement cases, and as we have just gone through, urgent situations like wildfires, hurricanes, and flooding, that utilize our Paws & Support program,” says Sandra Flemming, Provincial Director of Animal Care. “On a typical August day in 2023, the Nova Scotia SPCA had 1,077 animals in our care.”
There are three top reasons pet owners cite when they surrender their pets to the Nova Scotia SPCA. The increase in the cost of living means that caring for and accessing care for pets has become a struggle. Another top reason is housing, covering everything from housing insecurity to rentals that don’t accept pets, and evictions. And lastly, a top reason is when an unexpected litter is born.
“Surrendering an animal is a very difficult decision for pet owners, and we want to help. We are asking for pet owners to have patience with us, and access some of our programs,” says Flemming.
The Nova Scotia SPCA runs a pet pantry in all six of the shelters in the province, offering pet food and litter to help families get by. Also, the Preventing Unwanted Pregnancies program will spay your pet after a surprise litter, for free.
“There is only so much we can do, as those resources are as strapped as shelter space,” says Flemming. “Now would be the time, if you were thinking of doing so, adopting an animal we currently have in care.”