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WNY SPCAs seeing influx of pets

Officials at the Niagara SPCA say it's because so many people have become homeless lately that a lot of them are dropping animals off or worse, they're now strays.

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — The Niagara County SPCA has been accepting a lot of strays. 

They've also accepted a lot of animals who were dumped there by their owners due to financial hardships they had been facing.

On Tuesday morning, someone dropped off five Yorkies because they just went through an eviction.

"We really haven't taken owner surrenders in months. We just don't have space. The second that we have a few more kennels open up, five more dogs come in just like today all at once," said Emily Burow, director of behavior at the Niagara SPCA. 

Burow says so many people have become homeless since the state lifted its eviction moratorium, it's led to a lot of people dumping their animals at the shelter or worse, letting them become strays. 

She says people try to drop off about four to five pets every day but the shelter isn't alone in its struggle.  

"A lot of the local rescues and animal shelters everywhere is full. So everyone is trying to help," Burow said. 

The Cattaraugus County SPCA operations manager says they're almost exceeding total capacity with more than 180 animals. 

At least 10 dogs that were adopted during COVID have been returned. 

Erie County did see an increase in pets being brought to the shelter right when the eviction moratorium was lifted. 

They're still having some issues because of this but not as bad as before. 

"We applaud the people who come forward and ask for that help rather than just abandoning their animal," Burow said. 

Pet owners can utilize organizations including Operation Pets, Encompass Animal Care and Health, Cutting Edge Veterinary, and the Street Dog Coalition. 

The Niagara County SPCA is waving adoption fees on dogs and cats over six months old through August 31.

The Cattaraugus County SPCA is also waving adoption fees, depending on which animal. 

The Erie, Niagara, and Cattaraugus SPCAs all need people to foster animals.



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