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Hard Times Bite Dogs, Cats

Out of work owners leave pets at shelters
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2008 6:15 AM CST
Hard Times Bite Dogs, Cats
Animal shelters across America are filling up with pets whose owners have fallen on hard times and can't afford to feed them.   (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)

(Newser) – As man's bills pile up, man's best friend is all too often getting the heave-ho, reports the AP in a look at the economic impact on animal shelters across a recession-battered America. As dogs and cats of broke owners stretch shelters to their limits, the sinking economy also cuts into the number of people who would adopt them. The  result? Increasing euthanization. "It's been devastating," said an emergency-shelter spokeswoman. "For somebody to say, 'I can't afford to feed my dog'—it's a humbling time."

Four million dogs and cats are euthanized each year. "It's definitely discouraging for us," said a Humane Society spokesman. "One of our major goals is to develop and celebrate the bond between people and animals. It's so tragic when families reach a point when they can't afford to care for their pets." (Read more dog stories.)

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