ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (KRQE) – Inflation has hit everyone hard, including a local animal shelter. Not only are people returning to pandemic pets, but fewer families can even afford to have a dog.
“Medical bills are piling up and adoptions have slowed,” said the vice president of Pawsitive Life Rescue from NMJenn Wilson.
Pawsitive Life Rescue is a non-profit organization that helps animals find homes.
“We save animals like Butters and Kendrick. They were rescued from high-volume shelters and then we vetted them and put them up for adoption,” Rescue president Allie Sikorski said, as she held the rescue dogs.
They are 100% in foster care with over 100 people helping them.
“To be an adoptive parent, we’re just asking you to provide the love, and we’ll provide everything else,” Sikorski said.
The monthly rescue needs can reach up to $10,000. They make most of their money from adoption fees. However, lately there has been a drastic drop in adoptions.
“We started during COVID. It actually turned out really well because people were home and adopting, but it kind of backfired now. People return their dogs because they’re back at work and also because they haven’t socialized their dog, and then they have issues with their dogs,” Wilson said.
They saw a 10% increase in the number of people returning their pets. On top of that they were doing an average of 45 adoptions a month, now they are lucky if they have 14. Due to inflation they said they are struggling to find money for food, vaccines and medical expenses. The volunteers and the board of directors used their own money to cover the costs.
Some of their animals have health issues, which they try to take care of before adoption.
“We don’t just abandon them. If they have that will and that courage and that quality of life, then we’re going to carry on for them,” Sikorski said.
For example, they never gave up on a rescue named Buggy, a Chihuahua, which they say was expensive to care for but is now doing better.
Wilson mentioned, “He lives a perfectly happy life and he’s full of spunk.”
Other dogs are about to be adopted like Kendrick, a calm, 1 year old about to be neutered. Wilson said he could be a great family dog for anyone.
For now, to stay afloat, they rely on donations and fundraising as well as hosting low-cost veterinary clinics. Their next clinic is on October 30 where they will give away dog vaccines for free.