Economic Crisis Means Trouble for Shelters

 |  Jan 6th 2009  |   18 Contributions


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.

Times are tough fur everybody

It sounds unfathomable and drastic, but it's true--shelters all across the country have reached and surpassed their occupancy levels and are facing numbers the likes of which they've never seen before. It's happening all over.

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

to Missouri...

"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

to Michigan...

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.

Shelters everywhere have cuties like this just waiting for you to adopt them

At Dogster and Catster, we take great pride in not only being able to provide our members with a fun experience, but with an informative and meaningful one as well. As times get tough for our furry little friends out there, we'd like try to do what we can to make the situation more manageable. Here is a list of Catster resources that will help you to find out more or lend a hand during these rough times:

  • The Catster Railroad - This is a special place for Catsters to help Catsters arrange for community transport of rescue cats or cats being re-homed.
  • The Catster Adoption Center - Find out about adoptable cats here. You can find shelter cats or cats that are at risk of being sent to a shelter.
  • Catster Local - This is where you can search for animal shelters and rescue organizations in your area.
  • Catster Adoption and Rescue Groups - Browse through all kinds of organizations that work to provide furrever homes for cats.
  • Catster Rescue and Adoption Answers - Browse through, ask or answer questions that have to do with rescue and adoption.

    As long as this crisis exists, we here at Catster HQ will do our best to provide our members and readers with news, information and tips relating to the situation. Please feel free to pass links to our dog and cat articles and pet-centric services to any of your pet-loving friends who may find themselves in dire economic straights over the next few months.

    Finally, leave a note in the comments section for this post if you have any thoughts or tips that you would like to share with other readers. Together, we can make a difference. And we will.

    Shelters are seeing spikes in the numbers of abandoned pets

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