Pets left in limbo as Australian owners get cold feet

STORY: Location: Sydney, Australia

Australian animal shelters like this one

are overflowing with unwanted pets

Many people who bought dogs during lockdowns

are now realizing the responsibilities they entail

as many owners return to the workplace

and start travelling again

[Monika Biernacki, Founder, Monika's Doggie Rescue]

"In the last year, it's just been horrendous....The number of calls, emails, texts that we get here of people wanting to surrender their animals and it's just never-ending and we can only help so, so few. It's heartbreaking,"

Owners are also facing rising living costs

The price of pet-related products rose

by 12% in the first half of the year

But some say the sacrifices are worth it

[Sally Cowan, Personal trainer]

"I mean, I couldn't even fathom the thought of giving Rose up and I mean, would you give your baby up? Because that's how I see her, I see her as my child. So I tend to go without certain things if Rose needs to go to the vet, or if she needs food, or toys."

[Paul Kelly, Community service worker]

"So for me it's just trying to buy in bulk when the specials are on and when they're not, you just have to buy them because they're your best friend, right?"