Our country has some serious problems these days. Families are struggling with job loss, gas and utility increases, food costs that continue to rise, and threat of foreclosure and/or bankruptcy. Caught in the midst of this, quite often, are the family pets. When trying to choose between feeding your family and feeding the pet, it is fairly obvious who is going to win. Many people are facing the difficult decision of giving up a pet that may have been a family member for years or being able to pay the monthly bills. Where do you turn? What do you do? In many cases, the first thought that runs through the minds of those faced with making this decision, is to turn the animal over to the local Animal Control Center. However, it is important to note that shelters are suffering, too.
They are being inundated with pets people can no longer afford to keep. More relinquished pets means more mouths to feed, the need for more space to house the animals and the need for more people to care for them. Donations, on which so many rescue groups depend, are down, forcing those groups to have to make decisions to accept fewer animals or to shorten the length of time they keep the animal before facing the inevitable. Animals that once would have stood a good chance of being adopted are faced with more competition and as a result, many face the possibility of being euthanized.
An even sadder fact is that the animals that find their way to rescue organizations are the lucky ones. Sometimes people, out of desperation, release their animal thinking that “someone will find him and take care of him”. They reason that “at least he’ll have a chance”. A more likely scenario is that the pet will face a long painful death by starvation or be hit by a car. As depressing as all this is, there are steps we can take to help alleviate the problem. Continue reading