SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The pandemic is breeding another problem of more pets living on the streets.

The growing number of homeless pets is now pushing shelters to their limits. That’s why Sacramento Animal Care Services is pushing for a new team dedicated to getting them the care they need.

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They’re not just street animals. They’re companions, protectors and support systems.

“He wakes me up in the morning. He goes to bed with me. He’s just my buddy,” said Andrew Pendery.

Pendery owns a one-year-old dog, Elvis, he calls his constant companion.

For Angela Orourke, her little Bichon-mix, Baby, is everything.

“When I don’t want to get out of bed, just taking care of her helps me to get up and be motivated to try,” said Orourke.

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Sacramento has seen a growing number of homeless pets since the pandemic started, which is stretching resources thin. Animal Care Services wants a designated team focused on homeless pets.

“I share all my food with her and if something happens to her, I wouldn’t be able to take her to a vet. So if there’s something going on that helps with that, then that’s amazing,” said Orourke.

The proposal asks for a six-person team, including two new animal control officers to handle reports of strays or dangerous dogs. It also calls for a community coordinator to point people to resources and assistance, plus additional veterinarians and registered technicians to help at shelters. City leaders still have to sign off and even then, it may not be easy getting pet owners on board.

“I’d be concerned. I’m sure it will do some good but are they going to take away someone’s animal,” said Pendery.

They’re protecting their own, but now a growing number of street pets need their own care.

“She’s been a blessing every day since I got her,” said Orourke. “She’s the best thing in my life.”

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The new team would cost roughly $800,000 a year. The money would come out of the federal pandemic relief fund. The city takes up the proposal at its next meeting scheduled for Tuesday.