Why Seattle Humane is seeing more and more pets at its shelter
Seattle Humane has noticed more and more pets coming into its shelter, and it wants people to know that it is not because people are starting to return to the office.
It's because they don't have housing. While there are many reasons why a person would turn in their pets, Seattle Humane believes current financial hardships and housing insecurity is prompting a spike in drop offs.
According to a statement from Seattle Humane:
"In 2022, we are seeing an increase in pet owners seeking to rehome their pets and shelters across the country are seeing this same trend. However, we don’t believe that this increase is because people are going back to the office. In fact, downtown Seattle’s office occupancy rate is currently below 40%. From our perspective, this trend is instead being driven by increasing levels of financial and housing insecurity."
For a pet to have a home, its human family also has to have one. Or at least, it has to find a living situation that allows for pets.
There are a range of factors that Seattle Humane sees when people drop off their pets. Generally, a third of adoptable pets at Seattle Humane are surrendered by their owners.
The shelter says that in January, nationally, Humane Society locations saw 34,579 pets turned in. In May, that number went up to 43,249. More than 4,300 pets were surrendered by their owners in Washington state alone this year, so far. Seattle Humane says that it, and other shelters across the Northwest, have experienced a spike in requests for pet assistance and foster services.
According to its statement: "Seattle Humane received more than 2,400 owner surrender requests in 2021. For the first 6-months of 2022, we have received nearly 1,500 owner surrender requests. The number of pets we’ve accepted due to housing insecurity in 2022 has nearly reached the total intakes due to housing concerns in all of 2021. At this rate, we can project the number of pets surrendered this year related to housing issues will far exceed our total in 2021."
Read Seattle Humane's full statement here.