LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) – Rising prices have affected Americans in almost every aspect of life, and now some pet owners have reached a point where they can no longer care for their furry friends.

Cortney Turner has been a Lynn Haven Animal Control Officer for almost two years.

Recently, she said she has seen a huge influx in people surrendering their pets.

“We’re getting calls after calls saying “Do you take in dogs?” “Do you take in cats?” and we have to ask them “Is this a stray or is this an owner surrender?” Turner said.

Turner said before, dogs were turned in because people were struggling with training and didn’t know what they were getting into, but said now inflation has become the chief reason why people are giving up their pets.

“Now we’re getting dogs in and cats in as well because the economy is so high, gas is super expensive, food just to feed your family has risen,” Turner said.

Turner also said people aren’t taking the proper precautions for their pets.

“We’re getting cats because they are not spaying and neutering their cats and so everybody is having kittens so we have a ton of kittens right now,” Turner said.

Before making the decision to surrender your pet, Turner says to seek other options first.

“My advice would be first to see if you have family or friends who are able to help you out,” Turner said. “In three months, in six months, your situation might change and you might be able to get that animal back if you say “Look grandma, can you watch my cat for a few months?” or whatnot or a friend that is able to help out. Try that first.”

Turner also said to try blasting the message on social media.

She said surrendering your pet to a shelter should always be the very last resort.