It was announced earlier this month that the U.S. is officially in a recession. Um, duh! Anyone living here for the past year could tell you that. Things have kinda sucked.
With the national unemployment rate at about 7 percent–the highest since 1974–we’ve all felt the economic crunch. In fact, here in California alone it’s at a whopping 8.4 percent; the third largest in the country. We’ve seen everyone from Schwarzenegger to Yahoo order layoffs, and it doesn’t seem like it will end anytime soon.
But this financial turmoil isn’t only affecting the family house, it’s also affecting the dog house. Shelters are reporting that pet owners are abandoning their pet dogs at alarming rates.
Therefore kennels are becoming grossly overcrowded. Secondly, these charities rely on donations to sustain their efforts. And with money so tight for everyone, they expect a huge decrease in donations this year.
Another concern for them is Christmas. A lot of the animals given as Christmas gifts just end up in shelters by the new year.
It’s been estimated that the life of a pet can cost around $22,000 with food, visits to the veternarian and toys. While not an upfront cost, the added expense is just one more thing to pay for. Of course, this begs the question: Can you really put a price on the quality of life? My cat makes my day.
But households are having to cram into pet-unfriendly apartments, and for them it’s a matter of taking care of their families and taking care of their pets. Of course, for many of us our pets are family. As a cat owner, I cannot even imagine having to make that call.
Yet officials are getting calls that pets are being left at foreclosed homes! I must admit, I find this grotesque and absolutely unforgivable. I by no means pretend to understand what it is like to lose your house and to feel those pressures with a spouse and children.
But the fact is, our actions stretch far beyond just affecting us. If mortgage brokers, banks and corporations are allowed to make short term self-serving irresponsible decisions, we all lose. But if we ourselves act in the same manner, what does that make us?