Shelters Overflow as Recession Continues

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.

Sande Hamilton


Diane S.
Deanne S6 years ago

I would never give up my pets, they are too precious ! I would rather cut down on my personal spendings. There is far too many pets ! No more pet shops, no more breeders ! There is enough pets waiting to get adopted in shelters !

Cynthia Mattera
Cynthia Mattera6 years ago

I would never give up my pets..they are my family! I will make cuts elsewhere or get a second job if need be.
Sorry, but shame on people who are just throwing their pets out into the streets. How can you do that to them? It's not their fault. If the tables were turned, they would not do that to you.Think of creative ways to cut your can be done!

Crazy Cat Lady
Crazy Cat Lady6 years ago

We need to come up with more ways to help people keep their animals. I know some food banks collect pet food, but it isn't publicized or encouraged. There is something wrong with the fact that people will give canned goods for humans, but not a 50 cent can of food for a cat. We are stewards on this Earth, given the responsibility to care for all creatures. It's not the animal's fault, and often not the person's fault. Times are tough and people shouldn't be forced to give up their pets because they have no other choice. Donate as much as you can to your local shelters and food banks. Every little bit helps.

Robert O.
Robert O6 years ago

The worst part is that there seems to be no end in sight even of the date that I'm posting this comment. Sure the economists say there is improvement but try convincing the tens of millions of poor, starving, unemployed, cash strapped Americans struggling out there of that. Try also telling that to the thousands of animal shelters that are overflowing with unwanted and/or abandoned animals.

Please be a considerate and responsible person/pet owner/animal lover.

Have all of your pets spayed and/or neutered to help control the pet population.

Take your pets in for regular check-ups to make sure they are healthy.

Don't buy any animal from a puppy mill or any establishment that gets their animals from puppy mills. Puppy mills/animal mills are evil and need to be shut down.

If possible please donate some time, money or goods to reputable animals shelters in your area.

Speak up for animals and animal rights by signing petitions, contatcing your local elected officials about animal rights issues.

Teach your kids and other loved ones the importance of animal rights and treating animals and the envrionment with love and respect.

Good night! Take care all!

Eco Warriors SOS Rainfore

spay and neuter, be kind to animals, dont hurt or harm.

Kristen R.
Kristen R7 years ago

This is horribly sad. People need to realize that pets are NOT disposable. And first and foremost, spay and neuter your pets!

Shalini s.
Shalini singh8 years ago

Will you ever abandon your kids and family due to financial crisis?....the answer is that simple!! you fight it together as a family!!!

Lindsey O.
.8 years ago

And for anyone who really can't afford vet care - talk to your vet. I know that mine often gives discounts or sometimes even gives free work to patients if he really believes the parents can't afford it. A number of times when I've had to board a stray while I'm trying to find a home for the animal he's let me keep them at his practice for weeks - free of charge.

Always ask if you need help - sometimes you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Lindsey O.
.8 years ago

I feel so sorry for all the poor pets who have been parted from their families. I know that there are some people who truly can't afford to keep them; however, for those who can and just casually toss them aside - I hope someday when you're old and poor your children toss you aside because they feel you're just too expensive to help.

Carol, vets really don't make a lot of money at their jobs. After the vet pays for all of his staff's salaries, rent, supplies, insurance, etc., their own salaries are not large, especially when you consider that they have to pay for four years of college, three years of vet school, and pay to start up a practice.

"According to a November 2009 survey by, the average salary range for a first year veterinarian is between $50,882 a year and $68,060 a year. With experience, earnings can increase considerably. After one year, most licensed veterinarians are reporting salaries ranging from $55,142 to $75,337 a year. With five or more years of professional experience, veterinarians are earning between $58,809 to $83,153 annually. Veterinarians who have been practicing for at least 10 years can expect to earn up to $91,904 and those practicing vets who have been on the job for 20 years are reporting earnings of up to $102,768 a year."

You don't go into veterinary medicine to get rich.

AntiSocial CatO
.8 years ago

that poor cat.