AUSTIN, Texas - Austin's eviction moratorium was extended until Aug.1. Tenants are protected until then. However, beginning June 1, nothing is stopping a landlord from filing a notice of eviction, if the tenant has unpaid rent of at least five months.
That can leave many questioning where to put their pets.
"We are very worried about the moratorium being lifted. We know anecdotally when people have to move, the last thing they want to get rid of is their pets. So quite often they will wait until the day they have to move or the day they are getting evicted. By then it's a little too late for us to do anything other than take the animal in," said Mark Sloat, program manager for Austin Animal Center.
This is the reason why local shelters like the Austin Animal Center are preparing for an influx in dogs and cats this summer.
"Apartment companies, a lot of them are managed by huge conglomerates, they might have to evict a large number of people. If ten percent have pets, a lot of them expect to come here. There are a couple different rehoming programs, some you pay for and some are free," said Sloat.
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Some shelters across the country have reported an influx of pets being surrendered. owners adopted during the pandemic, and are no longer able to care for the pet, due to financial hardship, or a return to work, for example.
"We have an extraordinarily high number of animals available for adoption right now and if there are not protections for the people who have been protected in the past from eviction, then we do expect the nationwide trend to increase as far as the number of dogs and cats found in animal shelters," said Suzie Chase, senior director of strategic communications for Austin Pets Alive.
All area care sites and shelters say they are preparing as well.
"Shelters across the country have been holding their breaths for that moment for a potential wave of evictions. We've definitely seen a lot of people surrendering because of a move," said Sarah Hammel, shelter manager for the Austin Humane Society.
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The AAC said if you are facing financial difficulties, or you know you are being faced with an eviction it is best to plan ahead, so your pet can be safe and secure.
"As prices go up with inflation, it's harder to keep an animal. when dog food prices are going up and our own food is going up it's going too, People are going to make different decisions," said Sloat.