PASSAIC COUNTY, New Jersey (WABC) -- The record-high inflation has caused a new crisis at some local animal shelters. Some families say they are no longer able to afford to keep their pets or are able to adopt new ones.
Missy is looking for someone to love after her owner died of COVID - her bark sounds like a plea for help.
She is part of a growing number of pets crowding shelters and rescue operations because their owners can no longer pay for food due to inflation.
"It's horrible, and it just has become out of control," said Robyn Urman of Pet ResQ, Inc.
Matilda and Precious were also the victims of COVID when their owner died and family members did not want the responsibility. It has become a common problem in tough times.
"A lot of people can't afford vet bills or the landlords won't," Urman added.
Tallulah Bell is just ten weeks old but has a serious heart ailment. A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for the $8,000 surgery she needs. Without it, her life could end soon. Medical bills, rising costs for pet food, and returning to work after COVID are all causes for people to abandon their pets in shelters.
Tamesha Rucker gets a monthly supply of dog food for her three pets that she refused to dump after her landlord said he no longer allowed dogs in the apartment. She is living out of her car, and is thankful the Passaic County Animal Shelter is around to help.
The shelter collects food to give away to dog and cat owners who are struggling to make ends meet.