The Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo & Stratford Perth received between 1,500 and 1,600 pet surrenders in both 2020 and 2021.
The increase can be attributed to various reasons such as owner surrenders and stray pets that have been found.
Calla James, Director of Community Engagement and Outreach with the Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo & Stratford Perth, stressed that the influx of animals being brought to the shelter has impacted multiple factors, such as dealing with space and resources.
"We are not funded by any level of government," James explained. "So we do rely on the generosity of donors in our community and corporate donors in our community, as well as grants and our fundraising events to help support these pets that are coming through our door."
James added that that the shelter has a new strategic plan that focuses on helping people and pets that features a food friendly service.
"We offer a 'Pet Pantry Program' which helps to feed pets for any owners that are experiencing a crisis, or a financial crisis. If we can help to feed that pet and they can allocate those resources for feeding themselves and their family, and if we can ultimately keep them together, that's what we want to do." James stated.
The Humane Society also offers low cost veterinary services that are geared towards low income families.
The organization is also making available low cost rabies clinics and weekly microchip appointments.