Animal shelters in Cedar City are under strain as a result of an inflow of surrendered pets.
CEDAR CITY, Okla. — The burden on Cedar City animal shelters has increased as a result of an overflow of calls, texts, and visits from people wishing to surrender their pets.
According to Tom Byrd, a county detective with the Iron County Sheriff Department Animal Shelter, the shelter has experienced an uptick in owner surrenders in recent months, with up to 30 calls received from mid-January to February. He said the amount of stray animals they've taken in is comparable to the number of pets that have been voluntarily relinquished.
The Cedar City Animal Adoption Center's shelter manager, Brittany McCabe, said they're seeing a similar inflow of surrendered pets.
At least half of our adoptable kennels are owner surrenders, and we have a few cats who are as well, she explained.
What's causing the surge in pet surrenders?
McCabe and Byrd were unable to pinpoint a cause for the rising number of abandoned dogs and owner surrenders.
If you ask me what's causing it, I believe it's simply the housing crisis, Byrd said. The majority of individuals can no longer afford to purchase a home, so they're forced to rent, and many rentals don't allow pets.
During the 2008 recession, he said, the shelter experienced an inflow of stray and abandoned animals.