Pleasanton is seeing a rise in the number of abandoned pets in several locations.
Just last week, police found a box of guinea pigs next to a dumpster at an apartment complex — something that’s becoming all too common around town.
“We’ve seen them in the parking lots of shopping centers, they’re left overnight in our dog parks, our municipal parks, in boxes left outside pet supply stores and veterinary offices,” said Frankie Ayers, the Animal Services officer for the Pleasanton Police Department.
She’s seen an increase over the past few months, attributing it to folks heading back to the office and maybe no longer having the time or money to take care of a pet.
“These animals are disoriented, and scared making them far more likely to run away from those who are trying to rescue them, that coupled with inclement weather and the danger of being struck by vehicles make it very dangerous for these pets,” said Ayers.
At the East County Animal Shelter, the holiday season often produces an uptick in abandoned pets. They say it’s usually due to limited pet boarding options or individuals replacing old pets with new ones.
Either way, the influx puts a strain on the shelter.
“The big concern is always that every shelter only has a limited amount of space, so if we reach capacity we do have to look at other options and the negative options are not what our goal is,” said Jennifer Wills, Animal Services supervisor at the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.
Abandoning a pet is a misdemeanor in California and people could be held responsible for any injuries to the animal.
That’s why local police are reminding folks that pets aren’t temporary so choose wisely before taking one in.
“We definitely recommend adopting an animal, we want to remind everyone that they are a lifelong commitment, not just a fun present to open up on Christmas morning,” said Ayers.
Source: NBC Bay Area