Cost of living crisis driving people to give up their pets - Auckland Council

Auckland Council says the cost of living crisis is driving people to give up their pets.

It means the number of dogs up for adoption at animal shelters is skyrocketing and facilities are at breaking point.

Furry friends were out in full force at Auckland's Botanic Gardens on Thursday. But the pups weren't just there for a walk in the park.

"We have a large number of dogs looking for new homes. We haven't seen anything like this before," Elly Waitoa, Auckland Council animal management manager, told Newshub. 

Auckland Council said its three shelters are swamped and new dogs are coming in daily.

"There's a lot of people who are saying they just can't afford the dog, but also that their landlord will not allow them to keep the dog," Waitoa said. 

Joe Conway, who works with animal management, said it's reached the point where many owners are just refusing to claim them.

"During COVID and even now, a lot of the roaming dogs that we pick up, people are just not ringing and trying to find out about them," Conway said. 

He said the cost of living crisis is catching up with some families.

"It's hard times out there at the moment. It's a lot of money if you've got to feed kids and school and food and power and petrol."

They're calling all dog lovers to help home these pooches - if they're in a position to do so.

And although it's difficult to say no to their faces, it's important people understand the commitment of pet ownership.

"Very expensive vet fees, you've got registration, microchipping, vaccination - which is annual, so all these things have to be factored in," Waitoa said. 

More than 60 dogs are waiting for a new home with a further 40 undergoing assessment.

Mark Jacobson adopted Ember a year ago. It's a decision he said he doesn't regret.  

"She's just part of the family now, we can't picture life without her."

Waitoa agrees.

"All they want to do is love you, and be loved."

So if this story made you 'paws' for thought, perhaps you're the perfect match.