An animal shelter official in Sudbury says he is disturbed by a recent increase in pet abandonment.

Richard Paquette, who runs the Rainbow District Animal Shelter in Sudbury, said it alarmed him to find that a box of puppies had been left on the side of the road, or dogs had been left tied to trees in the woods.

"It's very frustrating," Paquette said. "It seems to be more and more cases of people just not being responsible and owning up to that responsibility for a pet."

Paquette said he's heard people say they didn't realize how much a pet really costs.

Chad Wilkinson, who is the president of the Sudbury and District Vet Association, said there are many costs to consider, including food, vet bills and training.

"The current cost for first-year puppy ownership is predicted at approximately $2,500 the first year and approximately $1,800 a year for an adult dog," Wilkinson said.

Paquette said to surrender an animal to the shelter it costs $120 per dog and $60 per cat. 

He said the cost shouldn't deter people from surrendering animals properly. And if they don’t have the money, there are other alternatives.

"We have a volunteer work program where we have people come in and volunteer their time cleaning out some of the pens and work off whatever cost it may be to surrender a pet to the shelter," Paquette said.