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P.E.I. Humane Society seeing more animals surrendered because of no-pet rental units

Mittens and Cuddles are two of 52 kittens in foster care at the P.E.I. Humane Society.
Mittens and Cuddles were two of the kittens in foster care at the P.E.I. Humane Society earlier this summer. The P.E.I. Humane Society says the number of pets being surrendered is on the rise partially due to the lack of pet-friendly apartment units available in the province.- Maureen Coulter

Humans aren’t the only ones affected by P.E.I.’s housing crisis.

The number of pets being surrendered to the P.E.I. Humane Society is also on the rise partially due to the lack of pet-friendly apartment units available in the province.

Development manager Jennifer Harkness said so far this year the society has received about 391 surrendered pets, with 64 of those being for moving reasons.

That’s up significantly from the 292 surrendered, 41 for moving reasons, by this point in 2017.

While some moving reasons are related to emergency housing or domestic reasons, most are because the owner cannot find a pet-friendly unit.

“That would be the majority,” said Harkness. “We do hear that often, and it is unfortunate.”

While there are also a number of people who surrender pets if moving off P.E.I., those are not included in the numbers. Neither are the number of people who re-home pets on Kijiji because of non-pet friendly apartments.

Harkness said there are also, unfortunately, some situations where landlords return to an empty apartment to find a pet left behind.

“That is a call that we do get occasionally,” she said.

The P.E.I. Humane Society has recently made its surrender fee voluntary in hopes of reducing the number of abandoned strays — a strategy that is working and contributing to the higher number of surrenders.

Harkness cautioned the public that, if they are surrendering a pet, to call ahead of time. While the society will accept surrendered animals without judgment, there are some who wait until their moving day to call.

Harkness said the society needs to book appointments ahead of time to manage the intake and outtake of pets, so those animals can be properly cared for, especially with this year’s increased numbers.

“It’s up considerably. We just had a really busy month and we try to manage our intake, outtake as best as we can so we can plan our care properly,” she said. “We only have limited staff and limited hours. We’re doing the best we can with the resources we have.”

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