Auckland animal shelters at capacity as people unable to commit to a pet

Over the last couple of years, there has been a spike in the number of pet adoptions for furry friends to keep people company throughout lockdowns. 

However as more and more people have returned to work, pet owners are struggling to cope and animal shelters in Auckland are finding they're almost at capacity.

They're always happy to see you and almost impossible to say no to - what's not to love about dogs?

But now with lockdowns over, all three of Auckland Council's shelters are running out of room for pups people can no longer care for.

"A lot of these dogs are being relinquished at shelters because people just don't have the capacity to look after them anymore," said Elly Waitoa from Auckland Council Animal Management.

Waitoa said the sky-rocketing cost of living is also having an impact.

"High inflation, there's a housing crisis, we have people in emergency housing as well that have had to give up their dogs."

Those working in the shelters said it can be heartbreaking when puppies are dumped at their doors with no microchips. 

 "We hope that they have an owner and their owner's going to come forward for them," Shelter worker Kelsey Purcell said.

In 2022, they're finding dogs are in shelters for longer.  

There are fewer adoptions every winter but this has been the worst so far. Auckland animal shelters are near capacity. 

Shelter Officer Tashana Williscroft said people considering adopting pets should be aware they're in for a 12-15 year commitment. 

Many of the dogs dropped at shelters are adolescent and passed the puppy stage but Williscroft said that's the perfect time to adopt them. 

"Their personalities have just come out, and they're keen to learn. They're just a perfect canvas to start a training programme with, they're just great," Williscroft said.

No matter what age they are all in need of a forever home.