The stock market may be rallying, and many politicians are claiming that the recession is over. However, with unemployment still rising, people and animals are still being hurt. For the people on “Main Street”, and for their pets, the recession is continuing. Sadly, this is causing shelters and rescues to overflow as people can no longer afford to care for thier pets.
Several shelters have lost donations at a time when drop offs are at an all time high. For example, the Humane Society of Elkhart County in Indiana took in 447 stray cats and 197 stray dogs in July and 440 and 145, respectively, in August. What is more sad is how many animals are left in their night drop box, about 20 a day. They are thinking of discontinuing the drop box option because “When they’re locked we’ll find kittens in our Dumpsters or a wild dog running in the parking lot,” Reel said. “We’re trying to address this issue and see if it’s still working.” (source)
Recently the San Francisco SPCA has announced that they will no longer be open on Mondays. They are hoping that reducing the days they are open, as well as other measures, will help make up for the $3.5 million deficit they face. They are one of the oldest animal rescue groups, running for 141 years!
You may also remember that Governer Schwarzeneger also passed a proposal to shorten the days that animals stay in shelters. All of these measures taken to help ease the financial burdens that are facing the shelters.
And with more people facing foreclosures and job losses, many are turning to homeless shelters which do not accept pets. Even those who can find rentals often find that the landlord won’t accept pets.
What can you do to help?
- Consider making a donation to your local rescue/shelter if possible.
- If you have the means and ability, adopt a pet (or more than one if you can).
- Do you know someone facing foreclosure? If they have pets could you take those pets in until the family finds housing?
- Be aware of the animals in your neighborhood. Many people are letting animals roam free, or abandoning them in houses.
- Volunteer your time at a local shelter or rescue group. Many shelters have had to layoff staff, they would likely appreciate hands on help.