(WBNG Binghamton) There are so many abandoned animals coming into the Broome County Humane Society, that some of the staff are even taking the dogs and cats home.
"In the past year, I have seen an influx of cruelty cases and owner turnovers... our shelter for the past year has been full to its max," said Animal Cruelty Investigator Tarah Tripp.
The biggest contributor to this increase -- the economy. Job loss means proper pet care can be the first thing to go.
"When we get a complaint the dog is underweight, a lot of their excuses are because they can't afford dog food and they can't afford the vet care."
Veterinarians say potential owners need to understand the costs before a adopting a pet.
"It's not just buying a bag of food once every month, they do require veterinary care," said DVM Stephen Holowinski of Johnson City Veterinary Hospital. " You know, things happen, even if they are an indoor pet."
The S.P.E.A.K. Animal Hospital gets at least 15 to 20 calls a day regarding abandoned animals that need to find a new home.
"We are at capacity," said Elise French of S.P.E.A.K. "There is a waiting list of probably 40 to 50 people waiting for us to take in any animals that they found."
French says that If you find yourself in a situation where you can't take good care of the pet anymore, don't just let him or her run out the door.
"Find a home for the animal, get it into a shelter where they will find a home, but don't just leave it."
A shelter will always try their best to keep the animal safe, and find the pet a new home.
The Broome County Humane Society offers free cat and dog food when owners run out.
For more information on S.P.E.A.K. Animal Hospital or Broome County Humane Society, click here: