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Pet Surrenders Up

August 14th, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

The economic downturn has been taking its toll on animal shelters across the country and across Florida. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, donations are down, adoptions are down, and owner surrenders are up.

Animal shelters are seeing a correlation between signs like this one, and the numbers and kinds of animals being voluntarily surrendered by their owners.

“Moving is often the reason given when people are having to surrender a pet due to foreclosure,” Jen Hobgood with the Humane Society of the U.S. said. “Or a need to find lower income housing quickly.”

No one is keeping Florida specific numbers, but donations and adoptions are down nationwide. This 11-year-old feline named Martin is also part of the surrender trend being seen by shelters. Life-long family pets being cut adrift.

“That’s tragic,” Hobgood said. “For those cats and for the families who may have felt that they had to part with them.”

This shelter is on slate to take in 15,000 dogs this year. It will be an all-time high.

There are bright spots. Some shelters are offering foster care while people settle into new surroundings. There is also help available to pay deposits and some food banks have dog or cat food.

And while adoptions are down, there are still people looking for a pet.

You got a name picked out?

“No, not yet,” dog owner Kelli Lendzian said. “He’s buster now, but I don’t know.”

But keeping your pet with you, if at all possible, says the humane society, will be best for both you and the animal.

The Humane Society has set up a website to help families facing foreclosure get aid and temporary care for their pets. Website http://www.hsus.org/pets/issues_affecting_our_pets/financial_aid/

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