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So Long, Fluffy

So Long, Fluffy

File under sad but true: As the economy falters, some people are choosing to say good-bye to their pets.

I come from a family that is crazy about animals (dogs especially). So it was truly heartbreaking for me to read a recent story on how more and more people are choosing to give up their pets because of the bad economy.

In fact, the population growth at animal shelters in many states—including Connecticut, Nebraska, Texas, Utah—is so high many are turning away people looking to give up their pets. Even worse: the shelters are euthanizing animals at a faster rate.
 
And with the average annual cost of owning a dog at about $1,400, and the average annual cost of a cat at about $1,000, it’s not surprising there has also been a decline in the number of people looking to adopt pets.

For those people looking to bring a pet into their home, I think this story shows how important it is to adopt from a local shelter. There are so many cute and cuddly animals looking for a loving home! And unless you want a show dog, why spend the money going to a breeder?

Share your story of adopting a pet with us below.  Or let us know what you think about the wave of people giving up their pets.

Posted: 12/29/08
GeriGreene

Shelters serve an important purpose - a temporary home for animals awaiting their new owners. However..........I have looked frequently for a pet to adopt and the fees charged by most of my local shelters charge as much as one can buy from a breeder, which I do not wish to do. Some of their reasoning is that they want to know the person adopting can afford to take care of the dog, or at their overhead must be met. I cannot equate how keeping an animal in a shelter longer, in order to get more money from the new adoptive family makes sense.
One of the most difficult decisions a person would ever have to make is to give away a member of the family, because they have lost their own home and their new location does not accept pets. The state where I live is notorious for puppy mills and I am campaigning for stronger regulation of the industry.

ohscrap

Our family has 4 cats and 1 dog. 3 of the cats we found were dumped as kittens (different times) 1 cat was adopted from a shelter (recently) and our dog of 13 years was adopted from the local SPCA. Each one is VERY special in their own way. They are truley grateful to be a warm home with a loving family, and they show it. Our dog (german shepard/chow mix)and one of the cats are best friends. Each night the cat crawls onto her bed and cuddles closey to his BIG cat. It is the cutest thing. Our dog is quite camera shy, so when I go to get a picture to show how cute they are...she will get up and make sure there is no evidence of a cat sleeping next to her.

I never thought that I would be a crazy cat lady...or than again a cat crazy lady :-)

LauraLee311

I'm glad you are showing your support for adopting animals from local shelters. I grew up in a home that (at different points in time) had dogs from a breeder and that were strays. Our two cats were both strays and my cat with me now is a stray. I can understand going to a breeder if you have your heart set on a certain breed, but I think if you're going to go that route, you should open your door to a stray too.

carolineshannon

I am, admittedly, the crazy cat lady. My fiance and I have throughout the course of the last year adopted four cats -- See? Crazy, right? -- and we could not be more happy with our decision. We are so happy to have rescued these four lovable animals from their otherwise not-so-happy fate.

It's terribly disheartening that the economy is leading to people giving up their animals. I understand it, -- pets are expensive -- but it just makes me so sad.

And adoption shelters don't always make giving up animals that easy, especially, cats. My fiance and I experienced this first hand when we found a cat outside of our apartment building -- our parking lot has become a common drop-off spot for unwanted animals. We took the cat to the shelter and were told that we would either have to pay to give it up (Yes, we were being punished for rescuing an animal) or take it home because cats are considered a free-roaming animal in our city. Then, the girl told me that there is "no guarantee the cat will be adopted." So, what you are telling me then, is that I should basically pay to very possibly have the cat euthanized. No way!

I quickly walked away and called my sister -- she only had three cats and I thought she might need a fourth so she could be just like me. (-;

She happy obliged and, now, Georgie is a happy member of her family.

One thing I ask if you have to give your pet up: Please (puh-leeze) try to take it to a shelter or find it a happy home with a friend who can afford a pet. You can even hang signs up at your local grocery stores. I often see signs on large bulletin boards that line entrance walls to stores.

These babies need to be taken care of ... I cannot imagine my life without mine.