HOT SPRING CO., Ark. – A Central Arkansas nonprofit is dealing with a growing number of animal rescues due to people abandoning their pets.

Mary Ann Taft is the founder and president of Stop Animal Cruelty in Hot Spring and Garland County. She said it’s been a difficult time to rescue dogs this year because of how many there are.

“It’s worse this year than it’s ever been. I’ve never seen it this bad,” Taft said. 

She said dog dumping has become a rising issue in Hot Spring County.

“The overload of animals in the county and in the city of Malvern is unbelievable. People are dumping them left and right,” Taft said.

Tafts expressed that they’ve been working with the Malvern animal shelter but added she has been receiving numerous calls every day to pick up dogs that have been abandoned and said their numbers of rescues are continuing to grow.

“We have over 100 dogs in foster right now,” Taft said.

Taft said she believes it has to do with pet owners unable to afford the cost of taking care of their animals because of inflation.

“I just think a lot of it is due to the economy,” Taft said.

Taft stressed how difficult the issue is to take care of or fix.

“You can’t wave a magic wand to make it change, you just have to keep plugging along,” Taft said. 

She said their only hope is for people to either become owners or foster pets.

“We put out an emergency plea on Facebook to ask for someone to foster. Sometimes we get them, sometimes we don’t,” Taft said.

Those who wish to help or become a foster pet owner can call (501) 276-2385 or visit Stop Animal Cruelty’s website.