Increasing inflation and current economic difficulties are affecting pets. According to RTLIn the first quarter of 2023, animal abandonment increased by 15 %, and SPCA shelters are now overcrowded. At the same time, the number of adoptions has stagnated in recent months, with nearly 4,000 animals waiting for a foster home, according to the Humane Society's website.
In addition, many animals are still being processed and are not yet available for adoption. "We currently have 6,400 animals in our shelters, while our maximum capacity is 7,500. Our shelters are almost saturated even before the summer begins," warned Jacques-Charles Fombonne, president of the SPA, in a radio interview.
Increasing costs for pet owners
The main cause of this situation is the rising cost of dog and cat food. France Bleu recalls that the price of kibble has risen by 18 % in one year, prompting many owners to abandon their pets. "A healthy pet costs about 1,000 euros per year, which is a lot of money," says Jacques-Charles Fombonne.
In addition, veterinary expenses can quickly skyrocket in the event of an important intervention. "Today, even an average family cannot afford these expenses," admits Maeva Fabbri, director of the SPA of Strasbourg, during an interview with France Bleu.
Shelters in difficulty
As a direct consequence, adoption requests are down and animals are spending more and more time in shelters, "on average between 51 and 56 days", according to Jacques-Charles Fombonne. Some local structures are even forced to make owners who want to give up their animals wait, until a space becomes available.
Inflation is also affecting shelters, with rising costs for food, veterinary care and energy. According to Jacques-Charles Fombonne, the average cost of caring for an animal is now 1,000 euros, compared to 850 euros before inflation. "The operating costs for each animal have risen from 690 euros to 942 euros," he said on RTL.
The SPA calls for help and is organizing open days in all its shelters on May 13 and 14. In 2022, the association took in 44,199 abandoned animals, including 27,940 cats, a figure close to the record set in 2019.