Inflation is hitting America's 90 million pet owners hard and they need help too

Inflation is hitting America’s 90 million pet owners hard and they need help too

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From unaffordable housing to pain at the gas pump and less food on the table despite a higher grocery bill, soaring prices and rising inflation are impacting nearly every facet of American life. .

Unfortunately, the pain associated with inflation doesn’t just impact the bank account. It can also have a very real impact on the heart of the home, especially when tough choices have to be made between putting food on your table or in your pet’s bowl.

The truth is that in these tough economic times, pet owners are struggling to make ends meet and many can no longer afford to care for their best furry friends as they once could. We’re seeing this issue play out in shelters across the country, from Austin, TX to Kalamazoo, Michigan, as affordability issues force pet owners to abandon their pets at shelters amid rising costs for pet supplies and veterinary care.

Many pet owners can no longer afford to care for their best furry friends the way they once could.
(Stock)

These shelters, in turn, are inundated with abandoned pets and are forced to house them in rapidly changing conditions as space, time, and resources become increasingly scarce. This problematic cycle exacerbates the hardships of pet owners and pets who lose their homes due to economic uncertainty.

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A recent survey by LendingTree highlights this telling trend, noting that more than 75% of pet owners say recent inflation is making owning a pet more expensive, and 26% say they struggle to support themselves. of their animal due to these spiraling expenses. Worse still, nearly 25% of owners have taken on debt to meet their pet’s needs, with 30% of those stuck in pet-related debt owing $1,000 or more.

With 70% of households housing pets in America, this is a community-wide problem that deserves a community-based solution that involves players from the sidewalks of Main Street to the halls of Congress.

Nearly 25% of owners have gone into debt to meet the needs of their animal.

Nearly 25% of owners have gone into debt to meet the needs of their animal.
(AP Photo/Shelter Me, Martin Ehleben)

To help in this effort, American Humane co-sponsored Pet Night on Capitol Hill on September 21, so members of Congress and their staffs can hear directly from leaders in the pet care community about the issues that directly affect the most of 90 million people. pet owners in the United States today. By delivering this message directly to those tasked with legislating on these economic issues, we can help shape clearly and forcefully the way legislators view the very real problem of pet abandonment in the face of rising inflation.

Our work, however, does not begin and end at the Capitol.

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The solutions to these challenges lie not just with our elected officials, but with all of us reaching out to the pet owners most affected. Emergency grants from national animal welfare organizations to shelters and local communities are a great way to help keep pets with their guardians. American Humane is proud to have provided more than 100 of these grants to shelters in need in 43 states through our “Feed the Hungry” campaign. Through this effort, we have happily served over one million meals to hungry animals. As we continue to provide for pets and their owners, we urge others to donate to causes like this to provide tangible help to those who need it most.

Affordability issues are forcing pet owners to abandon their pets in shelters amid rising costs for pet supplies and veterinary care.

Affordability issues are forcing pet owners to abandon their pets in shelters amid rising costs for pet supplies and veterinary care.
(Stock)

Food banks set up by local and national organizations that provide pet food and supplies can also help ease the heavy burden placed on families with pets during these tough economic times. When pet owners know they can access what their pet needs to live a healthy and fulfilling life, stress for pets and humans is greatly reduced.

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Animal welfare organizations and individuals must do their best to help our fellow citizens struggling with the cost of caring for a cherished pet. As shelters are overwhelmed and pet owners struggle with economic challenges brought on by issues like inflation, we must look to our lawmakers and neighbors to help us keep people safe. their beloved friends.

We all know how difficult it can be to take care of a pet when you’re struggling to take care of yourself. Through a combination of legislative action, emergency grants, and community support, we can all help improve the lives of these pets and keep them in their homes forever with the families who need them. sides more than ever.

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