New York City animal care centers see 25% increase in abandoned pets as pet owners battle inflation

NEW YORK — New York City animal shelters are overwhelmed with more abandoned animals, and in many cases, the people who abandon them blame inflation and financial hardship.

A pet adoption event in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, on Saturday saw dogs and cats exit the system and into people’s homes.

There were so many cats and kittens to choose from for 6-year-old Maelyn Havens of Brooklyn, who was inside a moving animal adoption van in Bay Ridge with her parents Duval and Erika.

“And I love cute cats,” Maelyn said.

She quickly found this one and named it “Cookie”.

“She already decided on the name before we even came here,” Duval Havens said.

Cookie was home within an hour, and she clearly needed some time to adjust to her new family, as evidenced by a photo showing Cookie sitting at the top of a flight of stairs while Maelyn was sitting down.

“There are so many in need of housing,” one person said.

Leaders of New York City’s three animal care centers say 5,500 animals were turned over to them in the first half of last year. Compare that to 6,800 this year for the same period.

ACC mobile adoption coordinator Kenzie DuMars says the main reasons for the 25% increase are financial and housing issues.

Adoption events like this get to where people are and make a difference.

Small breed dogs are very popular in New York, for obvious reasons. It’s the bigger and older ones who can present a challenge, like 8-year-old Cami.

“He was one of our cases that was dropped because they just didn’t have the financial position to deal with him anymore,” DuMars said.

“We want all the cages to be empty,” said New York City Council member Justin Brannan. “Take one home, save its life and you’ll be better off.”

ACC can help New Yorkers with their pets, by providing grants, access to pet pantries with delivery service, and discounted veterinary care.

All of the cats and most of the dogs brought to Saturday’s mobile adoption event have been successfully sent home to new forever families.

To learn more about ACC and its adoption, grant and assistance programs, visit nycacc.org.

Boyd S. Abbott