A growing number of pets are being surrendered to the P.E.I. Humane Society this year not because of allergies, behavioural issues or financial concerns.
It's because their owners can't find affordable housing that allows pets.
"It's been very sad," said Ashley Travis, development and communications co-ordinator for the P.E.I. Humane Society.
"To hear that, you know, an animal that is well loved and well looked after and has no other need to be surrendered to us is being brought in and surrendered when they have a loving, happy home is really sad because in, in our eyes, we see it as being avoidable."
The shelter has seen a 134 per cent increase in the number of animal surrenders this year, Travis said. As they come into their busy season — November and October — the number of pets dropped off is on track to reach 2,000, up from about 1,300 in a normal year.
Ontario amended its Residential Tenancy Act in 2006 to prevent landlords from disallowing tenants to have pets. Travis would like to see a similar law on P.E.I.
"What Ontario did very simply was just say that any provisions regarding animals in rentals is no longer valid. And what that did was that allowed humane societies and SPCAs to act in a more proactive way when it comes to animal welfare," she said.
"But here at the P.E.I. Humane Society for a couple of years now, [we're] acting in a very reactive way because we're just swamped with animals ... We have a list of intakes that we're working our way through at the moment, and it's a slow process for that reason."