Fearing that recession will force people to give up animals they can no longer afford to feed, a German group has opened pet soup kitchens around the country, AFP reports. A pet welfare association relies on donations from individuals and corporations; the newly unemployed are among those taking advantage, as are the elderly. “Half our customers are old people for whom a cat or dog is their last social link,” says a Berlin organizer.
“The dog didn’t understand what was going on,” says the woman who came up with the idea after seeing a TV report of a family preparing to give up their pet after a layoff. "We just thought, it can’t be that for the sake of 30 or 40 euros they’ve got to turn their pet out.”