Calgary is currently in a full-blown pet crisis as inflationary pressure is leading owners to surrender their companions to already full shelters according to the head of an animal charity.
“It’s the worst I’ve ever seen it and I think every organization will agree with us,” said Melissa David, the founder of Parachutes for Pets, which assists low-income pet owners.
“It’s panic, we don’t know what we’re going to do.”
David said shelters are receiving more calls than they can handle from people looking to surrender their pets. In many cases, pet owners are taking the action because they can’t afford necessary veterinary care.
“They’re trying to pay their rent, they’re trying to get their groceries, they’re trying to get their medication, they’re trying to keep their companion alive,” said David.
To help ease the burden and keep families intact, the charity is teaming up with Fen Vet, a veterinary clinic with locations in Calgary and Airdrie, to hold a free clinic day on July 6 for people at risk of having to surrender their pet.
“People often just aren’t expecting veterinary care or medical care of any kind to be as expensive as it actually is,” said Melissa Herman, a veterinarian at Fen Vet.
“Blood work can be anywhere from $150 to $250, x-rays can be $300 to $400 and sometimes even more than that.”
Pet owners who want to take part in the one-day event will be prioritized based on their income levels. David said she hopes to hold more free clinic opportunities in the near future.
“If we can make it monthly, great, or even every quarter,” she said.
“It’s absolutely needed, so we’re committed to making this a consistent thing.”
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