Valley Animal Center sees an increase in the number of pets sent back to the shelter

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — At the Valley Animal Center in east-central Fresno, Ruben Cantu says his phone is ringing nonstop from people who say they can’t keep their pets anymore.

He has received 12 requests in recent days.

“We’ve seen an absolute uproar in landlord buyout requests. It’s been a very, very difficult thing to follow,” he says.

So far this year, 433 pets have been abandoned at the Valley Animal Center, about 100 more than they usually see at this time of year. 60 animals adopted at the center have been returned.

The reasons?

“We see a bit of everything. The financial difficulties are important. The move is important. The behavioral problems in the animal are important,” he says.

Cantu says people should take their time during the adoption process and ask lots of questions about what caring for a pet and their specific breeds will actually entail.

“You can never ask me too many questions. I’ll talk to you for hours about a dog to make sure you understand what you’re getting into and also that you’re ready,” he says.

If and when difficulties arise, help with pet food and supplies is available through Valley Animal Center.

And assistance adjusting to pet parenting is available at Fresno State through the Payne Animal Welfare Lab or the PAW Lab.

With more pets to care for, Valley Animal Center has an even greater need for help caring for animals and the equipment to do so.

“Volunteering is a great way. Donating all resources used – we take used blankets, used towels, used dog gear…kennels, food bowls, we use it all. Any resource is a positive resource.”

If you would like to volunteer or donate to Valley Animal Center, you can find more information on how to do so by clicking here.

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Benjamin M. Yerger