CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Animal shelters are reporting increases in pet returns, more abandoned pets coming through the doors, and more cruelty cases lately.

“Our shelter has never been quite so full,” said Renee Earl, Fulton County Regional SPCA President.

For Earl, it’s heartbreaking that people are turning over their pets at higher rates. Many owners adopted pets during the pandemic. Now, the cost of just about everything has gone up, and work life has gone back to normal.

“We probably receive about a dozen calls every single day with people looking to surrender their dogs. We’re a relatively small shelter, so we just don’t have the space available, and it’s quite sad,” she said.

Some who call Earl say they are being evicted from their residence, and others just can’t afford to care for their animals.

At the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, they haven’t seen an increase in return rates, but the financial strain on pet owners is still evident there. Last month, their onsite pet food pantry served 214 households, well above their average of about 125. They’re also seeing more pets come in through animal control as strays or abandoned, in addition to more cruelty cases.

Through June of 2022, MHHS distributed a total of 70,748 pet meals. In 2019, the last fully pre-COVID year, they gave out approximately 55,000 meals total.

To help meet the need, the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society will soon be offering pop-up pantries in front of the Arbor Hill Branch of the Albany Public Library. The first one will be held Thursday at 1 P.M.

The Fulton County SPCA also offers a dog food pantry. They are a smaller shelter, but still serve 50 to 70 families a month.