Foreclosure Victims Also Furry

As more people lose their homes, so do their pets
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2008 1:36 PM CDT
Kevin Schumacher, an animal control officer with the City of Fernley, Nev., assists Esther Levine with her pets on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2008, as they are taking the pets to an animal shelter.    (AP Photo/Brad Horn)
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(Newser) – As foreclosure rates skyrocket around the country, animal shelters are feeling a heartbreaking byproduct: an influx of pets being surrendered, USA Today reports. Across the country, areas with high foreclosures are seeing increased rates of pet abandonment, and shelters worry that even more could be coming as unemployment rates rise and affects renters.

"The fate of people's pets tracks with their own financial fate," said one official, and the Humane Society is responding with a $15,000 fund to help shelters handle the boom. A big priority is convincing homeowners fearful that their pets will be euthanized not to set them loose or leave them in deserted houses—a move that usually results in needless suffering.