As the cost of living increases in Australia, headlined by inflation rising a staggering 5.1 per cent between March 2021 and March 2022, RSPCA Victoria is reminding people that there is no shame in surrendering a pet if they cannot provide adequate care.

This year is proving to be a challenging one financially for many Australians. The price of petrol is at an eight-year all-time spike, the Victorian Default Offer prices applying from July 1 set to increase electricity prices by roughly five per cent, and people are forking out more than $10 for lettuce if they can find one on the shelf.

In addition to rising prices of pet food, approximately 61 per cent of Australian households own pets, one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world.

During the pandemic and as lifted COVID restrictions allowed for the return to office-based work, the RSPCA claim they have not experienced increased animal surrenders.

RSPCA Victoria helped Ralph the German Shorthaired Pointer find a new home.
Ralph the German Shorthaired Pointer was adopted from RSPCA’s Peninsula facility in November 2021 after being surrendered by his owners when they realised they could no longer provide the love and care Ralph deserved. Photo: Supplied

However, as Australians tighten their hip-pocket as the cost of living skyrockets, the animal welfare organisation understands the current economy may impede the ability of some pet owners to care for their pets properly, and expects a spike in animal surrenders.

RSPCA Victoria’s Head of Operations Tanya Drakopoulos said while the decision to surrender a pet can be extremely difficult, it means providing a loved pet with a second chance in a new home.

“No one decides to bring an animal into their lives, anticipating they will need to surrender them; however, people’s circumstances can change without warning and often for reasons beyond their control,” she said.

“We understand that life can be unpredictable and while it can be difficult, sometimes the decision to surrender a pet is the best outcome for both owners and pets.

“RSPCA can assist by finding new homes for animals where they can continue to thrive and live happy, healthy lives.”

RSPCA Victoria practices a judgment-free surrender process and will never turn away an animal that ends up at the doors of one of its five shelters across the state.

If pet owners are struggling, they are encouraged to ask family and friends for help or to phone RSPCA Victoria by calling 03 9224 2222.