Pet and Wildlife Rescue (PAWR) in Chatham is currently dealing with an influx of animals.
The shelter has taken in over 3,000 animals this year, including over 500 dogs.
"Right now we've also got a waiting list of animals to be surrendered," said PAWR volunteer Jennifer Clements. "We have seen an influx of dogs year over year, and this year is no exception. Unfortunately, we've seen an increase of 30 per cent in the number of strays, as well as a 60 per cent increase in the number of surrenders for dogs, and that's very concerning."
Clements said there are a couple of reasons why surrenders are up so much this year.
"We're seeing in terms of the cost of living these days, it's putting pressure on families. There's a lot of financial strain so sometimes they're unable to keep their animals. Also, we are seeing that fallout from the COVID adoption boom, and people are unable to provide the care and the environment now that our lives are back to being busy."
The influx of animals is putting a strain on PAWR's operating budget, which is around $115,000 a month, with veterinary care at almost $20,000.
Clements added that PAWR did receive donations from Chatham Honda and Tim Hortons this week.
"We were very fortunate to be the recipients of the Holiday Smile Cookie Campaign at Tim Hortons. We accepted a cheque for $34,560, so we really appreciate Tim Hortons' support, but also the community support in purchasing those cookies."
The shelter's third annual Under One Roof fundraising campaign is also underway. Last year's campaign brought in over $41,000.
The fundraising campaign runs until December 25. To learn more or to donate, visit their website at https://pawr.org/.