The cost of inflation is forcing pet owners to part ways with their cats and dogs

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 6:18 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - Gov. Ron DeSantis may have signed a disaster preparedness sales tax holiday into law, making items like pet leashes, collars, beds, and more tax-free from May 28 to June 10 — but it hasn’t been enough for some north-central Florida residents.

RELATED: Gov. DeSantis signs new tax relief legislation

According to a Jan. survey by ‘pet sitter and dog walker’ company Rover, more than 70% of pet owners are noticing an increase in costs to care for their animal companion. It forced many people in the region to give up their furry friends.

“People are not able to afford the care of the animal at this time,” Dir. of Humane Education at the Humane Society of Marion County, Amanda Thurber told us over the phone. “Whether it’s food, veterinary care, toys, basic essentials for the animal.”

Those in need can usually find help through the Happy Paws program run by the Humane Society of Marion County, but Thurber said even that is becoming strained. “We’ve seen such an influx, that we’ve had to start to put people coming in and asking for help on a waiting list,” she said.

Animal shelters in Marion, Alachua, and Putnam counties are at or over capacity.

RELATED: Alachua County animal shelter waives adoption fees due to overcrowding

Another major factor, Marion County Animal Services Director Jim Sweet said, is the region’s rapid growth. He told us, he has one or two free kennels left at the shelter.

“The reality is, people, come with pets, and sometimes they come with pets they don’t want,” he said.

It’s a big commitment. The ultimate goal is to keep these pets in long-term loving homes.

“Can they, number one: afford this pet. Number two: are they going to be able to provide the time and care that it needs and are they ready for this,” said Sweet.

Patriotism, food, dogs, and you = FUN!!!! 🤩

Posted by Marion County Animal Services on Saturday, June 18, 2022

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