SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Families across the country are giving up their pets due to rising prices and other pandemic-related issues. Shelters and rescues in Chatham County said they are also overrun with hundreds of animals that need homes.

“Our shelters are full right now. Our shelters are at risk of euthanizing just for space, wonderful, adoptable dogs,” explained Cody Shelley, volunteer and foster parent with Renegade Paws Rescue. “And that is a reflection on the larger problem that we have with spay and neuter as well as community resources here in our community. If spay and neuter were more common, more accessible required by our local county, we wouldn’t see so many extra animals at risk for euthanasia.”

“A lot of folks have pandemic puppies that were with them, and now that folks are returning back to something like normal, especially going back to work, they are finding they’re unable to keep those pets because their schedules have changed,” Shelley said.

Advocates said training and more structure can help animals adjust to the new time alone, but rising prices are also putting a strain on families with pets.

“Our community is seeing a housing crisis right now that looks like very high prices and very limited stock, which means that more people have to move and are unable to find places that will accept their pets,” Shelley explained.

Rescues said there are community resources available but not enough foster families. Renegade Paws Rescue has 253 adoptable dogs.

“Every person or family that opens up a physical slot in their home for a pet is saving a life directly. I think our unhoused animal crisis is only going to get worse from here because you’re not only experiencing a change back to something that looks more like pre-pandemic times, but we are suffering the effects of the pandemic and the changes that happened during it now,” Shelley added.

Rescues like Renegade Paws Rescue need foster families and volunteers. They also need supplies and gently used leashes. Click or tap here to offer support and learn more.