N.B. animals shelters struggle financially amid COVID-19 pandemic

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N.B. animal shelters facing financial troubles amid pandemic
WATCH: The pandemic may have caused a dent in revenues of local animal shelters. The Moncton SPCA has seen a drastic drop in adoption revenue in the last few months. Shelley Steeves has more. – Jun 15, 2020

Animal shelters across the country may be facing a financial crisis caused by the pandemic.

The Greater Moncton SPCA has seen a drastic drop in adoption revenue in recent months, according to the shelter’s executive director.

“With more people spending time at home, we had less animals coming in,” said Dan Fryer.

The number of animals being surrendered by their owners has dropped by nearly 70 per cent due to COVID-19, said Fryer.

But in many respects, he said, that is a good thing.

“I think people realize the value of having a pet at home. We call them companion animals for a reason,” he said.

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But the resulting 50 per cent drop in adoption revenues is putting a financial strain on the not-for-profit shelter, he said.

Humane Canada says some shelters may be forced to shut down without additional financial support from the government.

“We are absolutely in a situation where they need more support,” said Toolika Rastogi, policy and research manger with Humane Canada.

Rastogi said shelters right across the country have seen a significant drop in the number of animals being surrendered and a resulting drop in revenues.  So, some shelters and humane societies across the country are in desperate need of emergency funding.

“Shutting down is an absolute risk that organizations are worried about, and of course that would leave the animals very vulnerable,” she said.

While some shelters have received some federal subsidies, according to Rastogi, others have been denied local emergency funding for charities because animal welfare isn’t included in the funding criteria and funding shelters is not considered a priority.

Fryer said he had to invest $10,000 into the Moncton shelter to make it compliant with COVID-19 regulations, which also quickly ate into his public donations.

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“Everybody is short of money right now and asking people for money and taking money out of their hands when they need it is very hard for us to do.”

Fryer said he has requested provincial funding and is awaiting a reply.

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