In the U.S., something as simple as vehicle neglect can cost the economy upwards of $2 billion every year. However, the economic crisis in Venezuela has cost the citizens of the country much more than just money.
In the midst of an ongoing economic crisis in Venezuela, citizens have lost so much that many can no longer afford to take care of their beloved pets, and have since abandoned them to the streets.
As a result of rampant inflation, many families are simply struggling to feed themselves, let alone their four-legged friends.
A single bag of dog food now costs as much as a third of the country’s minimum wage. Pet food has become a luxury that many simply cannot afford anymore.
Activists have reported that the number of animals abandoned by families has increased by at least 50% in the last year alone.
Animal shelters are becoming more and more crowded with each passing day, and those pets who don’t make it to the shelters are simply left on the streets to fend for themselves.
“The (dogs) are hungry because there are many dogs and no matter how much effort I put in, I bring all these filled containers (of food) but it’s not enough,” one activist said of their struggles.
Venezuelans are suffering through food and medical shortages across the nation, and to make matters worse, the country continues to refuse aid.
President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela and Secretary of State John Kerry recently met for a brief exchange that — under any other circumstances — could have been the start of easing tensions between the two countries.
However, that was not the case.
Kerry met with Maduro to express concern about the economic crisis plaguing Venezuela.
This year has been one of the most unstable in Venezuela’s history, and has diplomats from nations around the world concerned and struggling to come up with ways to reach out and offer some form of assistance.
“The main concern in the U.S. is the risk of utter collapse and uncontrolled chaos,” said Michael Shifter, the president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a policy forum in Washington. “And that is why there is this kind of effort to keep this communication going.”
Until Venezuela accepts aid or creates solutions that could help heal the country, their pets and people will still struggle to survive.