Prince Rupert SPCA calls on pet owners to stop abandoning pets.

Prince Rupert SPCA

The Prince Rupert SPCA is urging pet owners to stop illegally abandoning their pets, after it noticed a recent uptick in abandonments.

Manager Joe Griffith says the city’s branch has taken in 37 abandoned pets from mid-April to the end of June.

He raised concerns about how carelessly many of these animals were abandoned.

“A lot of that has just been people tying up or putting five week old kittens into plastic garbage bags, tying up those garbage bags, and then just leaving them out in the middle of nowhere – like, near the helipad at the hospital,” he said.

“Another person found a mom and three kittens tied up in a bag that was locked in a dumpster. We've also had a cat that was left here at our door. We came in one morning, and it was just sitting there outside of its crate, so we had to bring it in. We've also had a mom and seven kittens that were left inside of a cardboard box at base of the driveway.”

Griffith says there a concerning connection between pet abandonments and the city's housing issues.

He says people who suddenly get evicted from their homes sometimes end up having to move somewhere that doesn't allow pets. In some cases, abandonment even happens after people struggle to find a new home in general.

“There was a young fellow and his wife – they're probably in their early mid 20s – and they had a small child with them, a two-year-old toddler. They came walking up the driveway, rang the doorbell, and they had a dog. They essentially handed us the leash, said that they had been evicted, and they had no home to go to, and they were homeless. They ended up surrendering the dog to us.

“And the sadder part of the whole thing was just watching this family walk down the driveway into the rain with nowhere to go."

Griffith says anyone who needs to surrender a pet should contact the SPCA or another animal rescue in advance so they can have time to prepare for the pet.

He also suggested people reach out to family or friends to try and find a responsible new owner for any pet that needs to be surrendered.