New Brunswick SPCA reports ‘dramatic increase’ in abandoned pet cases

Fredericton, New Brunswick – The New Brunswick SPCA is alarmed at the increase in the number of abandoned pets being left behind after pet owners vacate their residence. In 2023, the NBSPCA received 312 reports of pets being abandoned at New Brunswick homes and apartments, compared to 141 in 2022.

Pet owners are responsible for the well-being of their animals. Your pet needs you and looks to you for support, protection, and care,” said Lesley Rogers, executive director of the New Brunswick SPCA. Please don’t leave your pets behind, they deserve better from you.”

Tony Porter, Chief Animal Protection officer for the NBPSCA, said an animal’s physical condition can quickly deteriorate if left without food, water, or shelter. Dogs and cats can start to show signs of dehydration after only 24 hours. In some of our recent calls for abandoned animals, the NBSPCA rescued animals in very poor physical condition and tragically also found deceased animals. 

NBSPCA animal protection officers are seeing more abandoned pets because of financial and housing issues. Since many apartment buildings do not allow pets in rental agreements, owners sometimes leave their pets behind when they move. Other owners become overwhelmed with the cost of food and veterinarian care. 

There are other solutions beside abandoning your pets. Owners can reach out for help from friends or family members to help rehome their pets. Rehoming a pet with people you associate with makes for an easier transition for the animal,” Rogers said. Another option would be to reach out to your local SPCA Animal Shelter, local Cat/​Dog Rescue group or the NBSPCA. These professionals can help by either taking in the animal or giving you options that would keep your pet safe while looking for a new home.

Owners of abandoned pets can face charges under the SPCA Act, resulting in fines, a criminal record, and Pro­hi­bi­tion Orders preventing them from owning pets. Pet own­ers who do not pro­vide shel­ter and fail to pro­vide med­ical care to their ani­mals can face serious consequences,” Porter said.

In other cases, Porter said owners are dropping their dog or cat off along remote areas of the province, letting them loose to fend for themselves. The abandoned animal faces hunger, dehydration or being severely injured by wild animals or cars. 

These abandoned pets are scared when left on their own to survive. They no longer have the protection and support from their owners which causes fear and stress on the animal,” Porter said. 

If you have concerns that an animal has been abandoned, neglected, or abused please call our 247 # 18777221522.

About New Brunswick SPCA

Founded in 1881, New Brunswick SPCA (NBSCPA) is the only province-wide organization mandated to enforce animal protection laws. A dedicated team of 15 Animal Protection Officers is vested with the authority under the SPCA Act of New Brunswick to investigate and, if necessary, lay charges, seize animals, or recommend court orders to persons suspected of abuse and cruelty to animals. 

The NBSPCA is a registered charity that exists to provide province-wide leadership in the humane treatment of animals. We enforce relevant legislation, ensure shelter for neglected or abused domesticated animals and agricultural animals, and provide public education and advocacy to empower New Brunswickers to help animals live long and healthy lives. 

To learn more visit nbsp​ca​.ca

Media Contact:

Mir Hyder

Marketing and Communications Manager

New Brunswick SPCA


Available for Interview:

Lesley Rogers

Executive Director

New Brunswick SPCA


Tony Porter

Chief Animal Protection Officer

New Brunswick SPCA

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