ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Inflation has hit everyone hard, including a local animal rescue. Not only are people returning pandemic pets, but fewer families can even afford to have a dog.

“The medical bills are piling up and the adoptions have slowed,” said Vice President at Pawsitive Life Rescue of NM, Jenn Wilson.

Pawsitive Life Rescue is a non-profit that helps animals find homes.

“We rescue animals like Butters and Kendrick. They were rescued from high-volume shelters and then we get them vetted and put them up for adoption,” said the Rescue President Allie Sikorski, as she was holding the rescue dogs.

They are 100% foster-based with more than 100 people who help them out.

“To be a foster parent, we just ask that you provide the love, and we’ll provide everything else,” said Sikorski.

The rescue’s monthly needs can reach up to $10,000. They get most of their money from adoption fees. However, lately, there’s been a drastic drop in adoptions.

“We started during COVID. That actually turned out really good because people were home, and they were adopting, but it’s kind of backfired now. People are returning their dogs because they are back to work and also because they didn’t get their dog socialized trained, and then they’re having problems with their dogs,” said Wilson.

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They’ve seen a 10% increase in people returning their pets. On top of this, they used to average 45 adoptions a month, now they’re lucky if they have 14. Due to inflation, they said they are struggling to find money for food, vaccines, and medical fees. The volunteers and board of directors have been using their own money to cover the costs.

Some of their animals have health issues, which they try to take care of before adoption.

“We don’t just give up on them. If they have that will and that spunk and quality of life, then we’re going to keep going for them,” said Sikorski.

For example, they never gave up on a rescue named Buggy, a Chihuahua, who they said was expensive to heal but is now doing better.

Wilson mentioned, “He lives a perfectly happy life, and he’s full of spunk.”

Other dogs are about ready for adoption like Kendrick, a calm, 1-year-old about to get neutered. Wilson said he could be a great family dog for anyone.

For now, to stay afloat, they rely on donations and fundraisers along with hosting low-cost vet clinics. Their next clinic is on October 30 where they will be giving some dog vaccines free of charge.