Pets are being abandoned at higher rates because their owners can’t find a place to live

Jan 19, 2024, 8:00 AM | Updated: 8:42 am

FILE: Known as the "Toy Story Litter," these puppies were housed at Second Chance for Homeless Pets...

FILE: Known as the "Toy Story Litter," these puppies were housed at Second Chance for Homeless Pets. (Kennedy Camarena/ The Signpost, used with permission)

(Kennedy Camarena/ The Signpost, used with permission)

SALT LAKE CITY — Abandoned animals and pets have always been a problem for animal shelters and lately, the problem is tied to a human housing issue.

In 2023, the Humane Society of Utah reported a 78% increase in abandoned pets in Utah. The source, the agency said, is the human housing problem.

Pets abandoned because of owners’ homelessness

“We think the economy and the cost of living increases across the board are just affecting people and the ones that are suffering about that now are the animals,” Guinnevere Shuster, the Humane Society of Utah’s director of marketing and communications, told Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News on KSL NewsRadio.

Shuster said that the shelter is struggling with increased adoption rates as well. 

In HSU’s case, the pets being abandoned are being left on the shelter’s property. 

“We want to remind Utah residents that abandoning animals is illegal,” Shuster said in the news release.

“However, we recognize the tough times people are facing and aim to provide alternatives for people considering abandoning their pets.”

Where to turn when facing a housing issue with a pet

Those facing temporary housing issues can find help. Ruff Haven Crisis Sheltering in Salt Lake City offers a temporary short-term home through pet fostering for 60-90 days.

HSU said they can try to help pet owners threatened with eviction because of their pets. They can ask landlords for a scheduled surrender date.

This way, HSU said, pets may be able to remain with their owners until they reach the day of their scheduled surrender date.

Those who need help with pet food can get help at Salt Lake County Animal Services Pet Crew Pet Pantry, Ruff Haven Pet Pantry, and Street Dawg Crew of Utah.

For those who cannot keep their pet and are looking for a new home, HSU suggests looking into various rehoming options. 

These options include Facebook groups like Utah Animal Rescue and Rehoming, and Utah Pets for Rehoming or Rescue.

Other reading:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


food pantries...

Heather Peterson

Food pantries running low due to spike in demand

According to Feeding America, 316,980 people are facing hunger in Utah, and 93,050 are children.

2 hours ago

baby feet, utah postpartum retreat helps new moms...

Britt Johnson

Utah company aims to help postpartum moms with special retreats

The founder of Utah Postpartum Retreat said she thinks new moms are at high risk for developing postpartum mood disorders because they lack support.

3 hours ago

Example of a possible future salvage project on Lake Powell....

Derrick Jones

Lake Powell asks for public’s help locating possible salvage

Park officials want to know where sunken vessels were seen as Lake Powell reached record low levels.

3 hours ago

Power lines are pictured in utah, utah has lower electricity bill than other states...

Tammy Kikuchi

Study shows Utahns pay cheapest electricity bills in the country

Utah residents are paying less for power than any other state. Rocky Mountain Power says they work hard to keep it that way.

15 hours ago

Welcome to Tooele sign is pictured on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020.A Child was taken to a nearby Hospita...

Derrick Jones

Update: 4-year-old boy hit by a car in Tooele

A 4-year-old boy was hit by a car Thursday afternoon near Spencer's Field in Tooele. The driver stayed on the scene.

15 hours ago

FILE: High winds toppled trees that had stood for decades at the Ft. Douglas Post Cemetery, damagin...

Simone Seikaly

Rocky Mountain Power preparing for potentially strong wind storm in Salt Lake

The National Weather Service said wind gusts could reach 65 miles per hour in portions of western Utah valleys on Saturday.

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Pets are being abandoned at higher rates because their owners can’t find a place to live