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'We're coming into this crisis mode': SpokAnimal flooded with surrenders during housing crisis

With rents rising in Spokane people are having to make the hard decision of having to return their pets to afford to live in the city.

SPOKANE, Wash. — In 2020, animal shelters were emptied with people jumping to adopt an animal companion to keep them company, now Spokane animal shelters are seeing the exact opposite. They are overwhelmed with pet surrenders.  

SpokAnimal, one of the largest animal shelters in the city, said they are seeing an increase of animals in their system. While there are many reasons people surrender their pets they attribute this recent influx to the increase in rents and pet rents since the end of the eviction moratorium freeze. 

Landlords have been raising rents sometimes by 100 percent or more. Owners are struggling to afford the additional rents for pets on top of the rest of their bills. It's forcing them to make the hard decision of choosing between having a place to live and keeping their pet. 

Dori Peck, the director of development for SpokAnimal said in 2020 more people were wanting to adopt than animals available and now the pendulum has swung back.

In order to decrease the number of animals in their care, they will be holding more adoption events. They are offering space in their facilities for anyone who needs a place to house their pets for a time while they figure out their living situation. 

They are also looking for volunteers to help take care of the growing number of animals at the shelter.