BRANFORD, CT (WFSB) – Rising inflation combined with the end of COVID-19 pandemic safety nets is putting a strain on budgets across the state.
The Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter in Branford said it has been inundated with abandoned animals.
The Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter in Branford said it is caught up in the ripple effect of bank accounts being in jeopardy.
Over the past few weeks, animal control officer Laura Burban said she held her breath every time the phone rang. With every email that came into the shelter, she knew what to expect.
People have been inundating the shelter with requests to surrender their animals.
“We get anywhere between 50 and 100 each day,” Burban said.
Those were just from the people who actually asked for help.
“We’ve found animals left at our doorstep, we’ve found animals in the woods,” Burban said.
Channel 3 spoke with Burban in her office, which currently houses two pets left outside.
“These kittens have deformities,” Burban explained.
Volunteers and workers said that recently it’s been difficult to find places to house all the animals, even with five rooms at the shelter
“It’s just constant,” Burban.
She said part of the problem comes with the stresses of the pandemic safety nets ending.
“I hear people say all the time ‘I am being evicted and there’s no place that will allow to me to have my cat,’” she said.
A clearer picture was painted when Channel 3 asked Burban to read some of the emails she received over the past few weeks.
Unfortunately, the price of surgery is unaffordable. This dog needs to be relocated now. I have never asked for help in the past, but right now I’m having a financial crisis.
“Back when I started in 2008, we saw quite a few animals abandoned,” Burban recalled. “There was a decline in the economy.”
An added challenge this time around was the number of people who worked remotely during the pandemic.
“They’re going back to work,” Burban said. “They are like ‘what am I going to do with this animal?’”
That means man’s best friend is caught in the eye of the perfect storm.
“You come in the next day and it starts all over again and you feel terrible for the people you can’t help,” Burban said.
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