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Toronto Humane Society increasing services as pet owners struggle with rising cost of living

Just like everything else, the price of pet care is skyrocketing. 

The Toronto Humane Society says families in the city are grappling with the harsh realities of accessing essential health care for their beloved pets, which can lead to heartbreaking decisions.

“To address this challenge, we have increased our public veterinary services aimed at providing preventive care, such as spaying and neutering, vaccinations, and microchipping,” said Lauralee Dorst, Division Manager for Public Veterinary Services at the Toronto Humane Society.

On top of that, Dorst says the vet industry is facing staff shortages and having a hard time keeping up with the demand.

The organization says by opening more appointments to families in need of veterinary services, it hopes to ease the financial burden for pet owners. The Humane Society is also reminding people about their pet food bank.

“Pet owners are struggling with the rising costs of food for themselves let alone for their pets, and it’s coming down to the decision of do they feed themselves or do they take care of their pets.”

Small businesses like Pet Cuisine & Accessories are hearing about the challenges pet owners are facing too. They’re doing what they can to help, but their costs are also rising.  

“It’s hard for our customers and we understand that, we’re trying to do our best to survive as a business too,” said Ropen Wartin, manager of the store on Front Street East.

Knowing how important furry friends are to families, staff have been coming up with solutions like discounting products when bought in bulk, and implementing a seniors day discount.

“We see people coming here sometimes and they have tears in their eyes they cannot even afford to buy something, so a lot of times we help them out,” he said, adding that they’ll be putting together donation packages for the Humane Society for the holiday season.

Dorst says the organization needs community support now more than ever as they try their best to make sure people don’t have to surrender their pets as a result of not being able to afford them.

“We’re all about the human animal bond. We know what that bond means to families … and we don’t want to see that bond broken apart.”

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