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'They don't have anywhere for their pet to go': More Calgarians forced to give up their dogs

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Calgary animal advocates say the increased costs of living, combined with a housing crisis, are forcing pet owners to make tough decisions between their needs and those of their pets.

Melissa David, founder and executive director of Parachutes for Pets, said while her organization works tirelessly to give people peace of mind, some days it seems “almost unachievable”.

Clients typically have struggles and barriers when it comes to their own medical needs, David said.

“They’re already a lot of times on disability, low-income, pensions, or fixed-income. So, now they’ve been asked to stretch that money even further — their housing has gone up, their medications have gone up — and a lot of times their sole support system is their pet.

“Pet food has gone up exponentially, as has vet care, and it’s just very scary for them,” she said.

On average, the organization’s social work team takes 88 calls a day during business hours. David said a lot of times, clients will jeopardize their own health and end up in the hospital because they decided to prioritize their pet over themselves.

The common denominator right now, she said, is safekeeping — when a client has lost their housing or they’re about to lose their housing.

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  • Date

    Jun 11, 2024

  • By

    Calgary Herald


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