New Brunswick SPCA says 2023 record year for abandoned pets

by | Dec 6, 2023

Increase alarms SPCA, organization offers solutions for pet owners

The New Brunswick SPCA is alarmed at the increase in abandoned pets left behind after pet owners vacate their residences. In 2023, the NBSPCA received 312 reports of abandoned pets at New Brunswick homes and apartments, compared to 141 in 2022.

“Pet owners are responsible for the well-being of their animals. Your pet needs you and looks to you for support, protection, and care,” said Lesley Rogers, executive director of the New Brunswick SPCA. “Please don’t leave your pets behind; they deserve better from you.”

Tony Porter, Chief Animal Protection officer for the NBPSCA, said an animal’s physical condition can quickly deteriorate without food, water, or shelter. Dogs and cats can start showing dehydration after only 24 hours. In some of our recent calls for abandoned animals, the NBSPCA rescued animals in deplorable physical condition and tragically also found deceased animals.

NBSPCA animal protection officers are seeing more abandoned pets because of financial and housing issues. Since many apartment buildings do not allow pets in rental agreements, owners sometimes leave them behind when moving. Other owners become overwhelmed with the cost of food and veterinarian care.

“There are other solutions besides abandoning your pets. Owners can reach out for help from friends or family members to help rehome their pets. Rehoming a pet with people you associate with makes for an easier transition for the animal,” Rogers said. “Another option would be to reach out to your local SPCA Animal Shelter, local Cat/Dog Rescue group or the NBSPCA. These professionals can help by taking in the animal or giving you options to keep your pet safe while looking for a new home.

“Owners of abandoned pets can face charges under the SPCA Act, resulting in fines, a criminal record, and Pro­hi­bi­tion Orders preventing them from owning pets. Pet own­ers who do not pro­vide shel­ter and fail to pro­vide med­ical care to their ani­mals can face serious consequences,” Porter said.

In other cases, Porter said owners are dropping their dogs or cats off along remote areas of the province, letting them loose to fend for themselves. The abandoned animal faces hunger, dehydration, or severe injury from wild animals or cars.

“These abandoned pets are scared when left on their own to survive. They no longer have the protection and support from their owners, which causes fear and stress on the animal,” Porter said.

If you have concerns that an animal has been abandoned, neglected, or abused, please call our 24/7 number at 1-877-722-1522.

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