Venezuela is in a state of crisis. Prices for everyday necessities have skyrocketed. And that goes for the things that people need to feed their animals. Dog food can fetch up to $50 for a 40-pound bag. According to Reuters, the average minimum wage that Venezuelans are pulling in is $23 a month. The math is pretty obvious, with wages that low, it is difficult for people to provide the daily necessities for themselves, let alone their pets. And so Venezuela is now also seeing an increase in dogs being abandoned by their owners.
Venezuelans are dropping their dogs off in streets and parks. But there are also makeshift shelters where people can drop their pets off. Mariea Artega oversees one of those shelters and has seen the rise in abandoned dogs. Artega told Reuters, “The crisis has hit hard…People are abandoning their dogs because they can’t afford food and because they’re leaving the country.” Although Artega doesn’t keep an official register of the number of dogs her shelter has been taking in, she says that there has definitely been an increase, with nine poodles alone being deposited at her shelter in a two-week period.