At this point, you’re certainly not surprised to hear the words “recession” or “economic crisis.” You would have had to be living under a rock to not have seen, heard, read about or experienced the current state of the (now) global economic downturn. You or someone dear to you may be recently unemployed, you may be tightening your purse strings or you may be even switching to a less expensive cat food. The latter, of course, only applies if you are indeed lucky enough to still be able to properly care for a pet, and have not been forced to hand your four-legged friend over to a shelter.
From West Texas…
“We do our best to get them a home, but if we don’t for some reason, it takes a while, they don’t go anywhere. We’ll keep them here forever if we have to,” Lone Star SPCA Director, Kirk French, said. —NewsWest9.com, January 5, 2009
“Some of them, when they’re first abandoned, are pretty healthy, not thin, and may be wary of people, but don’t live completely in hiding. But faster than you’d think, they get very thin, they might get mange, or injured somehow, they live in the shadows, and soon they have an air of dejection,” [said] Randy Grim, head of Stray Rescue of St. Louis. — USA Today, January 6, 2009
Nearly 6,000 dogs and cats have been taken to the shelter this year. Of that, 401 were turned in by owners who cited financial pressures – an increase of 75 percent compared to the previous year, officials said. — MLive.com, December 26, 2008
… the story is the same: too many pets, not enough shelter space or resources.
As unemployment rates go up, so do the turn-in rates at shelters, which means that the organizations that are responsible for the care, maintenance and funding of the shelters are forced to deal with a larger number of four-legged clients, but with the same (or fewer) resources. You don’t have to be a mathematician to figure that one out. It quite simply does not work.
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