Arizona Humane Society helping families struggling to financially support their pets

Many people across the Phoenix area live paycheck to paycheck, and when an unexpected cost comes up, or someone in the family loses a job, there can be a lot of financial stress.

Families looking to cut costs will often surrender a pet, but that is where the Arizona Humane Society can help.

For Cheryl Ross, her dogs are family.

"He's 16, so we've had them since they were puppies," Ross said. "Beast is 16, and Beauty is 12."

Ross expects them to live out the rest of their lives with her, even though something unexpected happened in her life.

"I was laid off at the beginning of the year, and it’s just been a struggle since then," Ross said.

Even during hard times, Ross said she would never give up her pups, but she knew she needed help.

"I did a Google search for places that could offer assistance, and that’s how I found ‘Bridge The Gap,’" said Ross. "I filled out the online form, and Bella was in touch with me within 24 hours."

‘Bridge The Gap’ is a program through the Arizona Humane Society.

"If we are able to provide these resources and help keep these pets in their home, we are absolutely going to want to do that," said Kelsey Dickerson with the Arizona Humane Society. "As you can imagine, our kennels are overflowing."

Dickerson said in 2019, about 20 families got help. That number has since skyrocketed due to high inflation, as well as the high cost of housing and gas.

"[In 2022] alone, we helped keep almost 700 pets in their loving homes through this program," Dickerson said.

After applying, Ross was able to get the exact food that her senior dogs eat. Her pups stayed put with her, and it gave her some breathing room as she looked for a new job.

"Bridge the Gap was amazing," Ross said.  "They came through for me at a time when I very much needed help. Asking for help is hard enough. They made it easy."

Arizona Humane Society's Bridge the Gap program