ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — With inflation causing heightened costs for basic needs around the country, some people can no longer afford to care for pets, turning to animal shelters for help.

“We had 168 animals, I believe it was starting on May 19. As of July 19, we had 231,” Central PA Humane Society Shelter Manager Dylan Kotrick said. “I figured that was right about the time where gas prices and everything really started to go up at the beginning of summer and it’s been tough to keep up with.”

Kotrick said with an increased number of animals looking for a home, people have been turned away by the shelter due to limited space.

“This is probably the worst kitten season I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” Kotrick said. “Right now, we do not have a single open cat cage. We are completely full.”

The number of dogs at the shelter has increased as well.

“As for dogs, larger dogs in the kennel, after today we will have one or two empty spaces,” Kotrick said.

While more animals are coming in, the number of staff at the Humane Society remains the same.

“They’re putting in extra hours,” Kotrick said. “It takes longer to get our cleaning done and everyone here’s working as hard as they can.”

Kotrick said members of the community choosing to foster animals at the shelter have created more space for other animals to receive a home. There are still other supplies the shelter needs to properly care for the higher number of animals, that are in short supply.

“Right now, I know Purina Naturals for the cats is one thing that we’re a little bit low on, so we could always take more of that,” Kotrick said. “Litter is another huge thing that we go through.”

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The shelter is open Tuesday through Saturday. More information about the Central PA Humane Society can be found here.

“I hope it slows down but if prices of everything keep going up then who knows,” Kotrick said. “I mean, it could get worse, it could get better I don’t know. But it’s gotta slow down or at least level out somewhere hopefully.