PULASKI, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — First it was the pandemic, now inflation is impacting animal shelters across the board, including United Friends of Homeless Animals in Pulaski.

“Everything has gone up. So even just providing food for them has gone up so all of our bills have risen,” said Kate Gonzalez, shelter manager at United Friends of Homeless Animals in Pulaski.

The worst Gonzalez has ever seen it. She’s been at United Friends of Homeless Animals in Pulaski for over 10 years, working as the shelter manager.

“We pay a vet bill just like everyone else. We just pay it for several animals,” said Gonzalez.

The shelter takes up to six pets to the vet’s office each week.

“We have a cat right now who has a broken leg. So that was a $700 vet bill that we were not expecting where maybe a couple years ago it wouldn’t have been $700, it would have been less,” said Gonzalez.

There’s an influx of animals too, with the shelter reaching maximum capacity.

“I think there’s about 35 in here, there’s seven in foster care, and then we have four dogs and one of those dogs is a mom to four puppies,” said Gonzalez.

The shelter runs strictly on donations, with its main source of income being the profit that’s made at its thrift store located on North Jefferson Street in Pulaski. The thrift store opened in 1975 and is run by a group of dedicated volunteers.

“They take donations in all the time and then they turn around, put them out for sale and then everything that they make funds this,” said Gonzalez.

The thrift store offers a variety of things, from clothing to household items, but even that’s not enough.

“I think sort of the store is producing what they can for the shelter, but the shelter costs are going up and the store is maintaining what they’ve always made so we have to play catch up which we can’t because the store is at its max of what it can pull in,” said Gonzalez.

A challenge each day, but the shelter is hoping the public can change that.

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