(CBS) (WANE) – Animal shelters in some areas in the country are seeing more pets returned to their care. Some owners are struggling with the rising costs of rent, food, and gas.

Pet owners are now facing the difficult decision to surrender their pets. Data from Best Friends Animal Society shows 355,000 cats and dogs were killed in US shelters in 2021, the first increase in five years.

Organizations like the ASPCA are offering assistance to owners in need ranging from food to veterinary care to help keep pets in their forever homes.

“There is a wide spectrum of what pet owners can afford and all along that spectrum there’s a limit to how much people can afford to pay for care,” said Dr. Carolyn Brown with the ASPCA Community Medicine Department.

Humane Fort Wayne does offer pet food assistance through its Pet Food Pantry. Click here to learn how to donate or find pet food locations and distribution dates.